Collections: Asian Art: Cherry Blossom Viewing Picnic

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Mask (Kanaga)

Masks may be used at funeral ceremonies to honor and commemorate the dead as they enter the ancestral realm. Dogon dancers perform with kana...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Box in the Form of a Leopard's Head

    This box was used to hold kola nuts presented to visitors in the royal court of Benin. Leopards are one of the most commonly portrayed anima...


    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


    39.87_SL3.jpg 39.87_SL1.jpg 39.87_detail4_SL3.jpg 39.87_detail3_SL3.jpg 39.87_detail5_SL3.jpg 39.87_detail2_SL3.jpg 39.87_large_SL3.jpg 39.87_detail1_SL3.jpg 39.87_detail.jpg 39.87_bw_IMLS.jpg 39.87_detail2_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail3_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail4_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail5_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail6_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail7_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail8_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail9_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail10_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail11_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail12_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail13_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail14_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail15_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail16_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail17_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail18_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail19_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail20_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail21_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail22_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail23_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail24_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail25_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail26_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail27_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail28_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail29_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail30_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail31_acetate_bw.jpg 39.87_detail32_acetate_bw.jpg

    Cherry Blossom Viewing Picnic

    In Japan the seventeenth century witnessed an era of political stability that was characterized by an increased prominence of urban culture and a dramatic rise in the economic and social status of formerly middle-class groups such as merchants, artisans, and the lesser ranks of the military. These groups used their new prosperity to support new genres of art that represented urban life, particularly the fashionable activities of the entertainment districts.

    The Cherry Blossom Viewing screen can be considered a very early prototype for ukiyo-e painting (literally, "pictures of the floating world"). Better known from woodblock prints, ukiyo-e portrays popular actors, beautiful women, famous sites, and such popular diversions as the springtime tradition of cherry blossom viewing. The highly fashionable crowd making its way across the screen is actually professional pleasure women (yujo) and their clients, who are low-ranking samurai. While the scene carries various levels of meaning, romance is implied by the action of a woman extending a branch of cherry blossoms with a poem strip (tanzaku) to the men following behind.

    • Medium: Ink, color and gold leaf on paper
    • Place Made: Japan
    • Dates: ca. 1624-1644
    • Period: Edo Period, Kan'ei Era
    • Dimensions: Overall: 39 3/8 x 105 7/8in. (100 x 268.9cm) Other: 33 9/16 x 86 1/2in. (85.2 x 219.7cm) Image (outer panel): 33 7/8 x 20 1/2 in. (86 x 52.1 cm) Image (inner panel): 33 7/8 x 22 5/8 in. (86 x 57.5 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 39.87
    • Credit Line: Gift of Frederic B. Pratt
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Cherry Blossom Viewing Picnic, ca. 1624-1644. Ink, color and gold leaf on paper, Overall: 39 3/8 x 105 7/8in. (100 x 268.9cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Frederic B. Pratt, 39.87. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: detail, 39.87_detail26_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: Four-fold screen. A procession of large figures with very little background. The paper is a golden brown with gold and silver flecks. Gold representing clouds is used at the top of the painting. There are fifteen figures in all, the first carrying a fan and wearing swords, accompanied by another who bears an umbrella. A person with a pipe, one holding a branch of flowers and others with swords and fans follow. In the rear are four servants, one carrying a musical instrument, another a trunk and the others swords etc. Many colors are used in the costumes which show detailed designs. Red, blue, white, gray, brown, black, gold, green appear in various tones, the whole presenting a varied and vivid effect. There are narrow borders of white silk with a design in silver threads. The wide borders are of blue silk brocade with gold threads in an all over geometric design with conventionalized floral and foliate patterns. There are two well-known paintings which relate to the Brooklyn screen. The most famous and often reproduced example is the kakemono, formerly from a screen or sliding door, now in the Atami Museum and published by Adachi, "Yuna zu kai," Kokka; No. 525, p218 (and also in Kondo, Japanese Genre Painting, pl. 8, Narazaki and Kikuchi, Shoki Ukiyo-e pl. 56, and elsewhere). The Atami painting is very much like our screen, differing only in details, and the groups of yuna are also looking backward. The second painting which relates to ours is the four panel screen called the Pleasures of Women published in Kondo, op. cit., pls. 4 and 89. The subject here is quite different, centered about a picnic scene with sixteen yuna and one young male, but the handling of figures as well as the treatment of the cloud forms is identical with our screen, suggesting that it is the mate to the Brooklyn piece. In addition, note should be made of the pair of screens devoted to bath-girls in the Freer Gallery collection (see Stern, Ukiyo-e Painting: Selected Problems (1960), pls. 14 and 15). These are in a very similar style.
    • Record Completeness: Best (91%)
    advanced 110,591 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.