Tosa Mitsuoki: Phoenix and Peacock Notecard Folio
Ten 5 x 7 in. blank notecards with envelopes in a decorative folio.
Published with the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Founded in the fifteenth century, the Tosa school was dedicated to Japanese art and lore (yamato-e) rather than the Chinese styles prevalent in the region at the time. In addition to religious subjects, the Tosa school rendered precise and elegant depictions of samurai, flowering branches, and peacocks, quails, and other birds. Following an era of prominence in which Tosa painters successively held positions as head of the imperial painting bureau in Kyoto, the Tosa school moved from Kyoto for almost fifty years, and, partially as a result of the relocation, fell from court favor.
With his father, Tosa Mitsuoki (Japanese, 1617–1691) brought the school back to Kyoto in 1634. Twenty years later, Tosa Mitsuoki earned the title edokoro azukari (“head of the court painting bureau”), reattaining his school’s former eminence. Mitsuoki helped reintroduce yamato-e—highlighting nature, the annual seasons, and famous places or stories, sometimes accompanied with text—while adding urban updates and focusing attention on detailed ink brushwork. He paired original designs with a consistently precise and refined style, becoming a collected and revered painter, especially of bird-and-flower images. Although the Tosa school flourished well into the Edo period (1603–1868), Mitsuoki is widely considered its last groundbreaking painter.
Contains five each of the following notecards:
Phoenix, from Chinese Beauty, Phoenix and Peacock, 1691
Peacock, from Chinese Beauty, Phoenix and Peacock, 1691