Billows

DATE:
c. 1700
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Black ink, white pigment, paper
CLASSIFICATION:
Screens and Scrolls
DIMENSIONS:
.A Open: 69 × 149 1/2 × 5/8 in. (1 m 75.26 cm × 3 m 79.73 cm × 1.59 cm) .A Closed: 69 × 25 3/8 × 4 1/8 in. (1 m 75.26 cm × 64.45 cm × 10.48 cm) .B Open: 69 × 149 1/2 × 5/8 in. (1 m 75.26 cm × 3 m 79.73 cm × 1.59 cm) .B Closed: 69 × 25 3/8 × 4 1/8 in. (1 m 75.26 cm × 64.45 cm × 10.48 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of Asia
LOCATION:
Not On View
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, Roberta Coke Camp Fund
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1991.3.A-B

General Description

This magnificent pair of screens takes as its subject the exciting rush and crash of fast-moving water. The great billowing waves are blown up and spread across a great sweep of a pair of six-panel screens, creating an arresting image of the activity and power of natural phenomena. Executed in ink with touches of white pigment at the crests of the waves, this pair of screens is an example of the interest Japanese artists took in creating whole compositions out of what had previously been motifs in painting. For example, the form and style of the waves are similar to the waves in the screens, "Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup," which is based on Chinese Ming Dynasty painting models. The treatment of water as lively curled forms is more akin to Chinese painting than to the flat, abstract treatment of typically Japanese works. However, the use of water as a decorative subject of painting is a purely Japanese idea. Although the screens bear two seals, the painter has not yet been identified. Nevertheless, the quality of the painting and the conceptual use of water point to a date in the middle of the Edo Period (1615-1868), about 1700.