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Japanese Two-Fold Screen with Cranes

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Japanese Two-Fold Screen with Cranes, n. d.
Paint and Gold Leaf on Paper
61 1/8 in. x 68 1/4 in. (155.26 cm x 173.36 cm)


Object Type: Screen
Technique: Brushwork
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Scripps College, Claremont, CA
Accession Number: 0255


Commentary
This two-panel screen features plants and birds of winter, including two white cranes, pine trees, bamboo, sparrows and camellias in the snow, all painted onto a ground of gold leaf. Often, these motifs are depicted individually or in pairs – like cranes and pine trees, or sparrows and bamboo – but here we see them all together to create an idyllic scene of nature in the wintertime. Although white is the predominant color in winter scenes, the red camellias peeking through bamboo and sprinkled with snow provide some dramatic color accents.

- Meher McArthur, Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Curator of Academic Programs and Collections, 2021

Marks
No signatures or seals.

Medium
Paint and gold leaf on paper, with a brocade fabric border and lacquered wood frame.

Object Description
Japanese two panel screen depicting two white cranes and bamboo in the snow. The landscape also contains sparrows, camellia flowers, and water. The background is in gold leaf, and the screen has a brocade fabric border. Cranes are among the most revered birds in Chinese and Japanese legend, symbols of good luck, long life and peace. In Chinese mythology, Daoist immortals are said to ride on cranes, linking the birds with longevity. In many Japanese folktales, cranes have the ability to turn into a human, usually to give aid and good fortune to people who have rescued them.

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