67 x 24-3/8 in. (each panel)
Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Spurlock Fund
The twelve panels illustrate poems by the literary giant Fujiwara Teika (1162–1241). According to Teika’s diary, he was ordered by the Emperor to compose poems on the birds and flowers of the twelve months, which were to be inscribed on paintings of the same theme.
Teika’s poems, which appear in the squares affixed to the paintings, found renewed popularity in the 1600s during the Edo period (1600–1868). The earliest extant illustrated example of this theme was painted by Mitusnari’s father, Mitsuoki (1617–1691).
The months are numbered according to the lunar calendar, and the first month roughly corresponds to February.
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