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Flowering Plum Trees in Mist

Ike Taiga, Japanese, 1723 - 1776

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)

c. 1750

Ink and color on paper; mounted as a pair of six-fold screens

60 inches × 11 feet 9 1/4 inches (152.4 × 358.8 cm) Mount: 67 inches × 12 feet 4 1/4 inches (170.2 × 376.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the George W. Elkins Fund, 1969

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

    The supremely accomplished and individualistic painter Ike no Taiga gives a bravura display of his brushwork in this painting, one of a pair of monumental screens, meant to be seen side by side. Rising from the massive rock formation executed in angular, abstract patches of ink at right of this screen is an immense, rugged plum tree. On its aged, sculptural branches that extend beyond the frame of the screen, Taiga has painted a profusion of new blooms with precise and detailed lines of ink. The blossoming boughs of the gnarled companion tree on the other screen reach over to form an arched bower, while the expanse of empty space is compelling and profound. In the contrast between the unpainted void and the solid forms of his composition, Taiga suggests the dualities of yin and yang, darkness and light, death and life, found in the natural world. The surface of the painting is highlighted with a pale gold wash that shimmers warmly in the changing light and gives yet another layer of subtle depth to Taiga's masterful composition. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 46.