A byobu, or Japanese screen, thought to have been lost or destroyed was recently rediscovered in Kyoto. The screen is believed to be the work Kano Eitoku (1534-1590), a legendary painter of byobu of whose works not even ten remain. Kano worked during the Azuchi-Momoyama Period and enjoyed the patronage of both Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The byobu is a free-standing four-panel folding masterpiece that tells a historical tale from left to right. It features Byodo-in Temple, in Uji, Kyoto's Kiyomizu Temple, and displays all four seasons. Both the aristocracy and ordinary people appear in the painting. (Note: the byobu pictured at right is not Kano Eitoku's but is available online.)
Though the piece is not signed, experts from Doshisha University have credited the work to Kano based on the use of color, themes, and overall expressiveness.
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Thursday, September 14, 2006