Important Cultural PropertyLandscape of the four seasons

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  • Attributed to Shūbun
  • A pair of six-fold screens
  • Ink and light color on paper
  • 162.5x359.0
  • Muromachi period/15th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • A-11099

Shūbun is a painter from the middle of the fifteenth century based in Shōkoku-ji (Shōkoku Temple) in Kyoto. He is thought to have established the archetype suiboku-landscape painting style of the Muromachi period. He was a painter beholden to the Ashikaga shogunate and was extremely successful during his lifetime and after, but no paintings confirmed to be his work have survived.
Among the landscape paintings on folding screens passed on as Shūbun's work, this piece is thought to be an early one in the old style of painting. As for the motifs, for example, the creek and the bridge painted on the second panel from the right in the right half of the painting, the cave next to them, and the two persons facing each other are motifs associated with Ka kei (Ch: Hsia Kuei), a painter during the southern Song period. It is highly likely that other motifs are also taken from imported Chinese masterpieces. The author appears to have constructed the picture expecting that it would be appreciated by the viewer with the simulated experience of Chinese masterpieces by virtue of those motifs.