Skip to content


An image of Birds and flowers by Suzuki KIITSU


(Japan 1796 – 1858)

Birds and flowers
Place of origin
Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
circa 1855
Media category
Materials used
hanging scroll; colour on silk

127.0 x 55.4 cm image; 194.0 x 70.0 x 75.4 cm scroll

Signature & date
Signed l.r., in Japanese, ink [inscribed] "Seisei Kiitsu" [and artist's seal]. Not dated.
Purchased 1983
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

In this painting flowers of all seasons such as wisteria (spring), poppies (summer), bush clover and bellflower (autumn) are combined as if to celebrate a timeless world of flowers. Yet one cannot miss the loss of petals on the poppy which holds the centre of the painting - an unmistakable sign of impermanence. It is this awareness, subtly expressed in works of art, that resonates in the mind of the cultivated Japanese. Kiitsu, a later Rinpa school artist, has used a characteristic Rinpa technique of dropping colour onto another while still wet to create a suffused effect, known as 'tarashikomi'.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.232.

Bibliography (4)

Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'Asian Art', pg. 106-113, Sydney, 1984, 112 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Edo Painting Schools', Sydney, 2003, 232-233 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 233 is a detail of this work.

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'How Asian artists depict nature', pg. 29, Newtown, Mar 2002, 29 (colour illus.).

Khanh Trinh (Editor), Kamisaka Sekka: dawn of modern Japanese design, Sydney, 2012, 55 (colour illus.). 23

Exhibition history (1)

Kamisaka Sekka - Dawn of modern Japanese design, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Jun 2012–26 Aug 2012