Wind God and Thunder God Screens (Fujin Raijin-zu) (風神雷神図)
Wind God and Thunder God Screens ("Fujin Raijin-zu") is the folding screen painting of the wind god and thunder god. The original painting is Sotatsu TAWARAYA's folding screen painting. Moreover, a number of "Wind God and Thunder God Screens" have been reproduced by various painters.
Folding screen painting of Sotatsu TAWARAYA (original painting)
Painted in the early 17th century. National treasure. A pair of 2 fold screens, 157.0x173.0cm each, color painting on gold-foil paper, collection of Kennin-ji Temple (deposited in Kyoto National Museum at present). Although there is no signature nor seal, its authenticity has been unquestioned. Though why the painting was done is not fully understood, it is told that Kinnori UTSUDA, a poet and wealthy merchant, requested the painting at restoration of Kyoto Myoko-ji Temple, and then it was kept in Kennin-ji Temple.
It has been considered Sotatsu's crowning work, and it is also his most known painting. Moreover, the painting is so famous that someone who does not know Sotatsu may imagine the painting when "Wind God and Thunder God" is mentioned.
The painting has a brilliant composition, placing the wind god and the thunder god at the very corners of screens to bring a sense of tension. Yukio Mishima commented that it was a "striking composition." Moreover, the figures of the wind god with futai (packing) in both hands, and the thunder god with tenko (thunder drams) around are also very original. The textures of gold foil, silver paint, sumi, and pigment are employed efficiently, thus it makes us think what excellent color sense the painter had.
At the same time, the figures of the gods make a strong impact
Although it is a very famous painting nowadays, it was barely known during the Edo period.
Neither its record nor reference literature has been found.
Korin OGATA's folding screen painting
Important cultural property. A pair of 2 fold screens, color painting on gold-foil paper, a collection of the Tokyo National Museum. Korin OGATA faithfully reproduced to the original painting (folding screen painting of Sotatsu TAWARAYA).
Although Korin's replica is quite identical, it differs in some points.
The figures of the wind god and the thunder god are not at the very corners of screens, but are placed so that the overall images of the gods may fit into the screens.
Two gods look each other in Korin's painting while gods look down to the nether world in Sotatsu's painting.
The faces of the gods look somewhat gentle.
Although Korin's reproduction is a masterpiece, many viewers think that Sotatsu's work is more powerful because of the differences mentioned above.
Hoitsu SAKAI's folding screen painting
A collection of the Idemitsu Museum of Art. Hoitsu SAKAI painted a replica of Korin's reproduction. It is thought that he considered that Korin's painting was an original, not knowing about Sotatsu's work.