Bamboo in the Wind
Bamboo in the Wind, ca. 1850-1877
Ink on paper
174 x 96.5 cm (68 1/2 x 38 inches) (each panel)
Helen M. Danforth Acquisition Fund and Mary B. Jackson Fund 1991.005
In traditional Japanese wooden architecture, sliding doors connect two or more spaces or serve as room dividers. As the doors were constructed of paper over a wooden frame, they provided ideal surfaces for painted decoration. These panels by Bunrin illustrate how an effectively designed composition could create a sense of depth and space within the intimate Japanese interior. Bunrin, a mid nineteenth-century Shijo¯-school artist active in Kyoto, was a major figure in the transition from painting of the late Edo Period (1603—1867) to the more stylistically diverse world of the Meiji Period (1868—1912). Here, Bunrin captured both the flexibility and the strength of bamboo in the wind, characteristics that make it an important symbol for the Japanese.