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Between and Mortarboard

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A Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall (Taiga side of screen); Landscapes and Flower Studies (Gyokuran side of screen)

Accession Number

A Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall (Taiga side of screen); Landscapes and Flower Studies (Gyokuran side of screen)

Ikeno Taiga; Ikeno Gyokuran

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
tsuitate screen, ink on gold-coated paper

46 1/4 in. x 35 1/2 in. ( 117.5 cm x 90.2 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter

"Amid this seemingly unnatural quality of Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall, however, it is also evident that Taiga was attempting to paint with a unique and emotive style.  Several different types of brushwork are visible in the paintings, for example, which help to create a more expressive style.  Taiga was famous for painting with varied brushwork and for experimenting with innovative methods of painting.  He was often known to paint with rolled up brushes, rolled up paper, and even with his fingernails. By varying his brushwork, Taiga was able to imbue a personal identity and style into his artwork.  Specifically, in Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall, the exuberance of Taiga’s brushwork instills a sense of joy and emotion – an emotive quality that is uniquely associated with Taiga as the artist of the painting.
"It is undeniable that Taiga based Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall on previous Chinese artworks, but it is also clear that he imbued his own artistic style into the landscape, rather than merely copying and mimicking Chinese traditions that he observed in woodblocks and manuals."
"Taiga’s unique artistic innovation and expressiveness is particularly evident in Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall, where he uses a gold, reflective background and bold brushstrokes.  Through this reflective background and bold brushwork, Taiga was able to emphasize the surface of the painting to make it appear more expressive and monumental. This emphasis on surface makes the mountain appear larger-than-life and awe-inspiring – emotions that Taiga may have experienced upon actually visiting the mountain. The viewer, therefore, is able to share this emotional experience with Taiga and understand the grandeur of the landscape (even though they may not have ever been able to view the landscape themselves).  Taiga creates an emotional experience, or a journey, for his viewers – a journey that makes Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall at once intensely expressive and also personally meaningful."

Kaplan, Emily. “A Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall.” Japanese Landscapes, 18 Dec. 2009,

Landscapes and flower studies
Studied under Ikeno Taiga, whom she married in 1746. One of the best women painters of the nanga school, known for her small-scale paintings in the manner of her husband. Her style is soft, mild, graceful, utterly charming. 
Roberts, Laurance Page, and John M. Rosenfield. A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer. Weatherhill, 2000.

Physical Description
"The mountain occupies most of the landscape, but the entire mountain appears somewhat one-dimensional and it becomes hard to recognize any sense of recession within the landscape.  The effect of learning from woodblock paintings and manuals can also be seen in Taiga’s bold, dark outlines that are supposed to represent to the ruggedness of the mountain.  Finally, because Taiga did not provide a detailed rendering of the waterfall, and instead portrayed it with minimalistic brushwork, the waterfall seems to have lost a sense of motion." The background of the painting is gold.

Kaplan, Emily. “A Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall.” Japanese Landscapes, 18 Dec. 2009,

Landscapes and flower studies
There are many different kinds of flowers drawn within fan shapes and rectangles.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
flower (motif)
landscapes (environments)
screens (furniture)
waterfalls (natural bodies of water)

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& Author Notes

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