Sakai Hoitsu, Persimmon Tree, late autumn 1816
Two panel screen, ink and color on paper, 56 1/2 x 85 inches
Rogers Fund 1957 (57.156.3), Metropolitan Museum of Art
Several years ago I sent a holiday card with a detail from this beautiful screen by Edo Period (1615-1868) artist Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828). I was thrilled to find the whole composition at the current retrospective Silver Wind: The Art of Sakai Hoitsu, on view at Japan Society, 333 East 47th St, through January 6th.
Please take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to see so many exceptional works by Hoitsu, the son of a wealthy and powerful samurai family who became an ordained Buddhist monk in 1797, after enjoying a highly refined education at home in Edo. As a monk he lived in seclusion in Kyoto and then returned in Edo in 1809. His extensive study of art includes the ukiyo-e style, the nanga style and the school of Korin (having been inspired by Ogata Korin, 1658-1716). He revived the Korin School, also known as Rinpa.
Persimmon Tree is owned by the Metropolitan Museum. Most of the works come from other collections, both public and private. Each work features rhythmic mastery and intoxicating tranquility. Plan to spend a while here to relax and savor the occasion.
The exhibition also includes works by his follower Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858), such as this screen you may recognize comes from the Met too.
Suzuki Kiitsu, Morning Glories, Edo Period, 19th century,
Pair of six folding screens, ink, color and gold on gilded paper
70 3/16 x 149 inches, Seymour Fund 1954 (54.69. 1, 2)
Please remember that I'll be in the Met cafeteria on Monday, December 31 (yes, the Met is open tomorrow) at 12:30 pm to talk about the NYAE tours in 2013. We will also bid a fond farewell to Andy and the "gang."
Beth New York
aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange