Two Rare Meiji Era Byōbu Folding Screens with Large Shunga Paintings
Large screens (6 to 8 panels) served as background decoration for the traditional theatrical performance or as embellishing enclosures for rituals at temples. The smaller screens (2 panels) were made for the more intimate tea ceremonies or the so-called ‘Makura Byobu‘ (pillow screen), to protect from the wind and put at the corner of the bedroom of a traditional Japanese room with tatami.
Gifted Unidentified Artist
All paintings show aristocratic couples making love in a typical Japanese setting. Painting on rice paper. Mounted on silk brocade. With a red lacquered wooden frame. At the sides the signature of the gifted unidentified artist. The backsides have some imperfections.
Size; High 24 1/3″ inches (61 4/5 cm), 1 panel is 31 1/3″inches (79,5 cm) width, total width 62 2/3″ inches (159 cm). The paintings are 21 2/3″ x 16 1/2″ inches (55cm x 42cm). These kind of room dividers are light in weight and can also be easily mounted flat to a wall.
*Byōbu are Japanese folding screens consisting of several joined panels, bearing decorative painting and calligraphy, used to separate interiors and enclose private spaces, among other uses. Byōbu were an indispensable interior item in traditional Japanese architecture at the residence of federal lords, shrine and temples.