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Asian Art
Artist: Suzuki Kiitsu, Japanese, 1796–1858

Lotus Petals Floating in a Stream

1836 (Year of the Monkey)

Surimono, horizontal ō-ban; polychrome woodblock print with embossing

sheet: 7 11/16 × 22 1/16 in. (19.5 × 56 cm)
Gift of Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, B.A. 1970
2018.116.4

鈴木其一 流水蓮花弁 江戸時代

In this surimono, three lotus petals that look like white boats float on a light blue stream with S-shaped trails in the water. The two on the right seem to be moored at the shore; the third is midstream, possibly moving toward a distant shore. They are delicately embossed in semicircular lines that emphasize their curvy three-dimensionality. To the left of this ethereal scene by Rinpa school artist Suzuki Kiitsu are eleven poems by eleven different poets, each containing the word hachisu—an old term for “lotus” (now hasu), a symbol of the Pure Land Buddhist sect. The poems are on the theme of mourning, unusual for surimono. An inscription by the poet Shunko before the last poem tells us that the poems were composed as a eulogy for a gathering to commemorate his father, Priest Meikei, after his death in 1836.

Geography: 
Japan
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Provenance: 

Joan B. Mirviss (dealer), New York; sold to Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, Koenigstein im Taunus, Germany, 2006 (on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2017—2018); given to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2018

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/bulletin/Pub-Bull-acquisitions-2018.pdf (accessed December 1, 2018).

Sadako Ohki and Adam Haliburton, The Private World of Surimono: Japanese Prints from the Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian Collection (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2020), 140–43, no. 37, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.