Flowering Plum
Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858)
Single two-panel folding screen
Ink, gold and color on paper
H 25 1/2" x 72"

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Perhaps one of the last masters of the rinpa school to be recognized for his importance is Suzuki Kiistu, who initially worked in the footsteps of Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828). Later in his career, he developed a more distinctive and personal style. Which displayed a modern design and composition illustrated in this painting.
In this screen, made for the tea ceremony room, Kiitsu creates a long diagonal curve depicting a branch of flowering plum. The ink used to render this flowing line is accentuated with the use of the tarashikomi technique (puddeled ink). A lighter branch that vertically crosses the left side of the screen constitutes a visual anchor to the general composition, while adding movement to the image. The addition of kirihaku (gold speckles) conveys warmth and light to the image. In this work the artist displays a stark, yet dynamic image, that stands out for its elegance, masterful brushwork and balanced composition.