Landscape with the Sun and Moon


Landscape with the Sun and Moon

Paintings / Muromachi

Muromachi period, 16th century

Color on paper



Important Cultural Property

This is a set of two large six-paneled folding screens.

The screen to your right depicts a spring scene of blooming cherry blossoms, while the screen to your left shows autumn turning to winter across a harvested rice field. On closer inspection, though, the two screens create strikingly different impressions. With its undulating cherry and willow trees and its surging streams, the right-hand screen exudes a sense of dynamism. In contrast, the left-hand screen radiates serenity with its formalized depiction of flowing water, its gentle pastoral views and its distant, snowcapped hills.

The clouds on the right screen are formed from gold and silver leaf that has been torn up or cut into different-sized pieces. Most of the clouds and hills on the left screen, meanwhile, are created through the application of gold and silver foil. This creates an altogether more becalmed atmosphere. Furthermore, the cherry petals and bridge parapet on the right are given a three-dimensional aspect by the layering of paint. This technique is more-or-less absent from the left screen. Judging from the different compositions and painting methods, not to mention the discontinuity between the screens, it is thought they were originally separate works that were combined at a later date.

Of particular note are the depictions of the sun on the right and the moon on the left. Both heavenly bodies are made from gold- and silver-plated metal plates. This was a popular technique at that time.

Related Works

Search items related to work chosen