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Fans and Stream

Sakai Hōitsu, Japanese, 1761–1828
Edo period, 1615–1868
Sliding door panels (fusuma) mounted as a pair of two-panel screens; ink, color, gold, and silver on silk
Made in
Japan, Asia
Current Location
Not on view
right screen (a): 65 11/16 x 68 3/4 in. (167 x 174.6 cm)
left screen (b): 65 5/8 x 68 3/4 in. (166.7 x 174.6 cm)
Credit Line
Friends Fund
Public Domain
Object Number
Pictures in the shapes of fans strewn across empty space and swirling eddies of gold define this pair of stunning decorative screens. The opened fans, brightly painted with traditional themes of landscapes, birds, and flowers, subtly reveal the four seasons, from the plum blossoms of early spring on the right to the snow-covered cypress of winter on the left. Scattering fans is associated with the art and culture of the ancient capital Kyoto and a particular outing of aristocrats and ladies along the scenic mountains of Arashiyama. As the procession crossed the Sugagawa River near Tenryuji Temple, the fan of a young courtier was caught by a sudden gust of wind and drifted down into the waters below. Delighted and inspired by the beautiful and poignant image, others threw their fans over the bridge to watch them float on the breeze into the flowing stream.
- 1987
Leighton R. Longhi, Inc. (Leighton R. Longhi), New York, NY, USA [1]

1987 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Leighton R. Longhi, Inc. [2]

[1] Bill of sale dated September 28, 1987 [SLAM document files].

[2] Minutes of the Acquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, September 18, 1987.
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