Autumn Maple Trees

Tawaraya SōriEdo period, second half 18th century

Harvard Art Museums

Harvard Art Museums
Cambridge, United States

Of the handful of surviving works by Sōri, this screen is recognized as his masterpiece. A single branch of green leaves amid the otherwise brilliant red foliage suggests the setting is early fall. Following the finest works in the Kōrin tradition, Sōri showcases the intrinsic appeal of painting’s materiality. The interplay between the pooled ink on the tree trunks and the sheen of the gold ground beneath, for example, results in a mottled texture that conveys both the organic texture of the bark and a subtly abstract effect, complementing the vivid leaves. Little is known about Sōri, but it is possible that he met Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828), whose work is displayed nearby, in Edo. This would place Sōri at the epicenter of the 19th-century revitalization of the School of Kōrin.


  • Title: Autumn Maple Trees
  • Creator: Tawaraya Sōri
  • Creator Lifespan: Active mid- to late 18th century
  • Date Created: Edo period, second half 18th century
  • Credit Line: Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
  • External Link: Harvard Art Museums
  • Medium: Six-panel folding screen; ink, color, and gold on paper

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