Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Pair of Doors (Sugito)

Pair of Doors (Sugito)
Obverse: Courtier on Horseback; Reverse: Pair of Ducks in Reeds

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)

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)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Fiske Kimball Fund and the Marie Kimball Fund, 1966

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Traditional Japanese interiors are characterized by the interplay of art and architecture. Since the columns rather than walls supported the weight of the roof, walls could be movable, and made of either paper or wood. This sliding door, one of a set of twenty in the Museum's collection that would typically have been used to divide and decorate the rooms of a private residence, is painted with an elegant courtier riding his dappled steed through the evening, perhaps returning from a tryst. The long sleeve of his raised arm protects him against the snow that covers the ground and the old pine tree. The wood is left otherwise unpainted, giving the scene a sense of richness and depth, with the beautiful grain itself reading as the falling snow. The gilded door pull features the three hollyhock leaves used in the crest of the Tokugawa family of shoguns. Perhaps these doors were originally designed for a shogunal residence, although their exact provenance is no longer traceable. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 45.