《Green and Red Maple Trees》
Edo period, 19th century Color and gold-leaf on paper
The color contrast between the green and red leaves is brilliantly reflected on the golden ground. The green maple tree’s trunk and branches are slender and curved, while the red-leaved one has a thick trunk and rugged, gnarled branches. This screen painting does more than contrast two seasons. It expresses the entire life of a maple tree. We know from the “Koson Sanshin” signature and the “Renshinkutsu” and “Kyushoken” seals that this work is by Ikeda Koson. The design of this screen is very similar to a screen by Koson’s teacher, Sakai Hoitsu, and one by Ogata Korin reproduced under the title Green and Red MaplesinKorin Hyakuzu (One hundred pictures by Korin), which Hoitsu published. While the designs are similar, each of these works has its own distinctive style; they are thus of great significance in understanding the artist’s aims and individuality.