> “Ōe-Yama Mountain Legend”


(各)364 × 158.5 (高さ)cm

“Ōe-Yama Mountain Legend”

Edo period, 17th century
364 × 158.5 (height) cm, each
Pair of folding screens in six panels, painted on paper in ink and mineral pigment



Dr.K says

This legend started from the Nambokuchō period (1336-1392) as a story for children; later it will be the inspiration for many emaki scrolls, folding screens, joruri and kabuki plays. This screen is a pair of six folding screens. The story starts from the right side of the folding screen and it continues until the left corner of the upper half, then it goes on to the bottom half from the left side to the right.
Regarding the painting style, we notice the delicate brush stroke and the flamboyant and high-quality colours. Each screen has a signature and a stamp We need an article here. Are there more than one signature and one stamp? in the bottom corner (unfortunately, the stamps are not very clear). This pair of screens has a box for storage. On the outside of the lid, “Tosa Mitsuoki” is written in ink. Judging from the quality of the painting, it is plausible that the painter of the screens was indeed Tosa Mitsuoki. Tosa Mitsuoki was in charge of the official court atelier. He developed a new style by introducing Chinese painting techniques into the local Yamato-e (Japanese style) technique. This pair of screens is a good representative of this new style. In particular the way the mountain is painted displays the high level of skill that Mitsuoki showed when it came to Chinese techniques. The right screen shows a cherry blossom scenery, and the left screen shows red maple leaves, this creating a very refind combination specific to Yamato-e paintings.
Also, on the bottom of the box the following are written in black letters; Oeyama screen, the year of monkey, Horeki 2nd, May, an auspicious day, Kikyo-ya Zengoro(大江山屏風申年宝暦二年吉日桔梗屋善五郎). It is quite rare to have the name of one of the owners, Kikyo-ya Zengoro being the owner from 1752.