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Flowers of the Four Seasons in Chinese and Japanese Art
February 7—September 7, 2014
Gallery 225


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Gallery Map

EXHIBITION INFORMATION
Fukae Roshū, Japanese, 1699–1757; Edo period; Summer Grasses and Flowers, early to mid–18th century; hanging scroll: ink and color on paper; 40 x 14 1/2 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, The Langenberg Endowment Fund, the William K. Bixby Trust for Asian Art, and Museum Purchase; and Museum Purchase, by exchange 16:2012
China and Japan feature wide-ranging climatic zones and richly diverse flora. As a result, the Chinese and Japanese senses of beauty developed in tandem with ever-changing natural environments—a theme that is explored in Flowers of the Four Seasons in Chinese and Japanese Art.

The major artistic genre known as bird-and-flower painting is represented by Lotuses and Ducks, a pair of Southern Song hanging scrolls that evoke the lushness of summer. In 18th-century Yangzhou, wealthy merchants wishing to emulate scholarly tastes commissioned literati-style paintings such as Enjoyment of Chrysanthemums by Hua Yan, which depicts the cultivation of potted chrysanthemums in autumn. Summer Grasses and Flowers, a newly acquired Japanese painting by Fukae Roshū, shows two flowers and a grass emblematic of the summer: bigleaf hydrangea, morning star lily, and southern crabgrass. Visually anchoring this exhibition is Flowers and Plants of the Four Seasons, a pair of 18th-century gold-leafed folding screens from the Rinpa school.

The exhibition is curated by Philip Hu, associate curator of Asian art.


The exhibition is curated by Philip Hu, associate curator of Asian art.