by Tawaraya Sotatsu
A pair of two-fold screens
Ink and color on gold-foiled paper
Proportions: 169.8 x 154.5 cm (each)
Edo Period (17th Century)
(Kennin-ji Temple, Kyoto)
Although these screens bear no inscription or seal, there is no doubt that they are the work of Tawaraya Sotatsu. The fact that these screens were replicated in works by Ogata Korin and, later, Sakai Hoitsu evidences their belief that these were painted by Sotatsu.
The gold foil background makes the painted figures stand out while acting as an effective decorative element in itself. The gold foil also acts to produce a sense of unlimited depth.
The masterful use of the gold background medium not only as a decorative motif but also to create a boundless space within which the demonic deities float makes these screens true masterpieces.