Medium: Ink on Korean paper
Dates:late 14th-early 15th century
Dimensions: Image: 25 x 12 1/4 in. (63.5 x 31.1 cm) 58 x 17 1/2 in. (147.3 x 44.5 cm)
Accession Number: 73.123.1
Catalogue Description: One of a pair (the right panel) of hanging scroll paintings depicting orchids, bamboo, and thorns in slightly dry, fluid brushstrokes. Accession card: Signature and seal of artist. Condition: Arrived in an outer box and inner box of pre-modern date. Also wrapped in green silk cover. Excellent. Right Panel (73.123.1): Painting or orchids, bamboo and thorny branches set along a ground line to the far right of the composition. The long thin leaves of the orchid plant rise vertically and diagonally into the space, framed by the branches of bamboo along the lower edge and the thorns along the right edge. The background is unpainted. A seal of the artist is located at the right, at center. The painting is mounted on pale green silk brocade. Condition: Areas of wear from old damage while rolled are evident. Left Panel (73.123.2): Painting of orchids and thorns set on a horizontal ground line with tufts of a small ground plant at the lower part of the composition. The leaves of the orchid plant rise vertically and spread out radially with four open blossoms while the thorn rises and curves downward in three branches. The artist's signature Gyokuen Bompo and seal (same as right of pair) "Shorin" at left. The painting is mounted on pale green silk brocade. Condition: excellent. As noted in "Masterpieces in the Brooklyn Museum," (p. 69) Gyokuen Bompo was one of the great literati monks of the early 15th century. Although he never studied in China, he became quite famous in Japan for his skill in Chinese poetry, Chinese calligraphy, and ink paintings or orchids. His orchid paintings followed the style of the Chinese master Hsueh-ch'uang and the Japanese Tesshu Tokusai. The paintings arrived as a pair, the same size and in matching mounts. Recent assessment of the two paintings has suggested that they may not have been painted by the same hand, and that one or both were painted by an artist other than Gyokuen Bompo. Further investigation is warranted.