Who is Ogata Kōrin?

Ogata Kōrin (Japanese: 尾形光琳; 1658 – June 2, 1716) was a Japanese painter, lacquerer and designer of the Rinpa school.

Kōrin is best known for his byōbu folding screens, such as Irises and Red and White Plum Blossoms (both registered National Treasures), and his paintings on ceramics and lacquerware produced by his brother Kenzan (1663–1743). Also a prolific designer, he worked later a variety of decorative and practical objects, such as round fans, makie writing boxes or inrō medicine cases.

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He is also certified with reviving and consolidating the Rinpa scholastic of Japanese painting, fifty years after its opening by Hon’ami Kōetsu (1558–1637) and Tawaraya Sōtatsu (c. 1570 – c. 1640). In fact the term “Rinpa”, coined in the Meiji period, means “school of [Kō]rin”. In particular he had a lasting influence upon Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828), who replicated many of his paintings and popularized his work, organizing the first exhibition of Kōrin’s paintings at the hundredth anniversary of his death.

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