Ise Monogatari Leaf (Front). Tawaraya Sotatsu, Japanese; ca.1600. 

BALTIMORE, MD.- The Walters Art Museum has acquired seven exceptional works of Japanese art to compliment its growing collections. The paintings are by well-known Japanese painters active between the 1560s and the 1810s. The seven paintings include: Sesson Shukei, Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers (Shosho hakkei), ca.1860; Tawaraya Sotatsu, Album Leaf Illustrating the Tales of Ise, ca. 1600; Sakaki Hyakusen, Landscape, ca. 1750; Soga Shohaku, Orchid Pavilion, ca. 1760; Ike Taiga and Tokuyama Gyokuran, Landscapes, ca. 1770-1779; and Aoki Mokubei, Landscape, ca. 1810. 

Bringing these beautiful and important works of art to Baltimore permanently will have long-lasting significance for the museum collections,” says Robert Mintz, chief curator and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art at the Walters Art Museum. “Walters’ visitors will become familiar with works of art that played an important role in the development of the distinctive Japanese style of painting.” 

Among the seven paintings are an extremely rare sixteenth-century handscroll depicting the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers by the famous Zen ink painter Sesson Shukei (1504–1589) and an equally unusual and important\album leaf by the painter Tawaraya Sotatsu (painted between 1602-1635). The two works are by artists whose lives and paintings inspired many generations of later artists. Equally significant are landscapes by Sakaki Hyakusen (1697-1752) and Aoki Mokubei (1767-1833). These scrolls are examples of Japan’s creative spirit at work as they reveal both a traditional approach to painting and reveal a glimpse of the Japanese avant garde. In these paintings, viewers can clearly see the personalities of the painters and feel their expression as it unfolds across the painted surface. 

The paintings will go on view later in 2014. 


Lan-Ting Pavillion. Soga Shohaku,Japanese;ca.1760.