Skip to content


An image of Spring and summer activities on the seashore by Unknown


(Japan  – )

Spring and summer activities on the seashore
Other titles:
Mount Sumiyoshi (previous title)
Place of origin
Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
Media category
Materials used
single six-fold screen; ink, colour and gold on paper

151.0 x 348.8 cm image; 166.5 x 364.6 cm screen

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased 1987
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

A beautiful and classic evocation of the Japanese aesthetic, this screen portrays the softly contoured hills partially shrouded in clouds. In the top left a shinto shrine floats above the clouds, and in contrast the right section of the screen illustrates lowly saltmakers on the shore, the figures rendered with an endearing detail and not without humour. The semi-abstract quality of the deliberately asymmetrical composition and the sumptuous combination of greens and gold are characteristic of the native Japanese style of 'yamato-e' painting. This style, based on outline and flat colour, had its origins in the literary interests of the Heian period, when such themes as the four seasons and famous scenic places brought a fresh and distinctively Japanese inspiration to native imagery and creativity.

Bibliography (3)

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 274 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies and Edmund Capon, Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Japanese Painting', pg. 53-69, Sydney, 1990, 56-57 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 215 (colour illus.).