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White chrysanthemums
MA 12094
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

In their subject matter and pictorial treatment, these screens are emblematic of the unique stylistic criteria elaborated by Ogata Kôrin during the final decade of the 17th century and start of the 18th century. The floral subject matter reveals, alongside the recurring poetic inspiration of the painters of the Rimpa school, and drawing on a clear knowledge of the poetic anthologies of the Heian epoch, a concern for the botanic exactitude and a meticulous understanding of nature’s variations breathing into the compositions a remarkable rhythm, that of vegetal growth. The adaptation of the theme on the huge scale of twelve screens allows above all the creation of a continuous three-dimensional space, animated by a magnificent sense of the composition which contributes to giving this painting an architectural dimension.

History of the Object
The author of this painting, Ogata Kôrin, and the style of this work appear characteristic of the outstanding Genroku era (1688-1704). The Rimpa school during this period brought not only the art of painting but also decorative arts to the height of formal perfection, while presenting a profoundly innovative language. The supporters of Japonism in France, along with the first historians of Japanese art in France, underlined this very quickly, presenting Kôrin as the most original and personal of the Nippon painters (Louis Gonse, 1883). Thus it was essential that the Guimet Museum should bear witness to this pictorial movement through the perspective of major works.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Ink, colours, gofun and gold powder on paper(Gofun is a calcium carbonate based mixture, obtained from crushed shells; it is used here in the moriage process, which means that this mixture is modelled in semi-relief on the paper’s surface to achieve certain motifs, which in this case are chrysanthemum petals. This technique is characteristic of certain works by Ogata Kôrun) 
Measurements
Height 1,52 m. Length 3,54 m.  
Creator name
Ogata Kôrin 
Creator date
1658-1716 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
17th Century- 18th Century; Edo Period 
Function
It is primarily a painting. In Japan, the screen is one of the common formats used by painters since the Nara epoch (8th Century). It should not be overlooked, however, that this type of work equally has a decorative and architectural function, since it can be used as a movable partition, able to modulate the interior space of a secular residence. 
Acquisition
In 2004, within a classification procedure as a work of major interest to the national heritage (according to the Act of 1st August 2003) and thanks to the patronage of Crédit Agricole S.A. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts 
Museum
Musée National des arts asiatiques Guimet 
Credit line
 

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