Pair of Doors (Sugito)
, 17th century
Ink and colors on cryptomeria; mounted as sliding doors
Left Door [1966-211-12a,b]: 63 1/2 x 31 inches (161.3 x 78.7 cm)
Right Door [1966-211-11a,b]: 63 3/4 x 31 inches (161.9 x 78.7 cm)
Purchased with the Fiske Kimball Fund and the Marie Kimball Fund, 1966
[ More Details
How can you tell that this painting is
also a set of sliding doors? (Hints: Check
out their size. Look for something that
would help you to open them.)
- What are they made of? Where can you see the wood grain?
- What kind of weather is depicted? How can you tell?
- What time of day do you think it is? Why?
- Look carefully at the man on the horse. Where could he be coming from or
going to? Create your own story.
Art Project: Two Paintings in One
Japanese sliding doors are often painted in pairs, with a single design covering both surfaces. The design must link the two doors, and also be understood when only one of the sliding doors is displayed. Have students draw a line dividing a piece of paper in half, and draw two door frames around the edges of each half. Students should then create a single image on the whole paper, which will also be successful if only one side is showing. Some elements of the design need to visually link the two sides. Others should make each side feel complete. Finally, cut the paper in half, and create a display to show that each single door is successful, and also that both doors go together. As a game, post single doors on the wall and have students try to visually match the two doors that belong to the same design.
Research Idea: Painting the Walls
Have students research the history of
wall paintings, from the ancient paintings
in Lascaux Cave, France, to mosaic
murals of the Byzantine Empire, to
Japanese painted sliding doors, to the
murals of Diego Rivera, to community
murals made today in large cities around
the world. Why do people put designs
directly on walls? How have wall paintings
been used? How do wall paintings
reflect the attitudes and aspirations of
the cultures that produce them?
Group Project: A Door for All Seasons
Japanese architecture reflects a unique
appreciation for nature, and in traditional
homes decorative elements were changed
with the seasons. As a class, measure
the door of your classroom. Then, cut
four large pieces of craft paper, each
large enough to cover the whole door.
Divide the class into four sections, and
have each create a design for the door
that reflects the nature of a single
season—spring, summer, fall, or winter.
Students must cut a small piece of paper
to be the same proportions as the door,
and sketch their design on it. Then they
should decide what colors they will use.
Finally, working together, they should
recreate their small design to fit the
door-sized paper. The teacher can display
each finished composition on the door in
the appropriate season.