The National Treasure Irises Screens—The Allure of Color

The Nezu Museum

poster for The National Treasure Irises Screens—The Allure of Color

Ends in 7 days

*The Nezu Museum is temporarily closed from April 25 (Sun) to May 11 (Tue).

In his Irises folding screens, Ogata Kōrin (1657-1716) depicted clusters of irises on a large gold-foiled picture plane using only azurite blue and malachite green pigments. These three colors, blue, green, and gold (or yellow), are often combined; together they have a distinctive tradition in Japan and in the East in general. The vigorous color sense of this work also reflects an aesthetic characteristic of the Edo period. This exhibition also includes a sutra copied in gold pigment on indigo-dyed dark blue paper, Buddhist paintings from the middle ages to which gold has been added to a design with blue and green as the dominant colors, and a kinpeki sansui (Chinese: jinbi shanshui) or landscape in gold and blue-green, a genre that dates back to the Tang period (618-907). They are joined by ceramics from the Momoyama through the Edo periods in which these three colors play key roles, including innovative ko-kutani and ki-seto wares. With the addition of several other golden folding screens using the same colors, this exhibition attempts to shed new light on the Irises screens.



from April 17, 2021 to May 16, 2021
By appointment only.


Korin Ogata et al.

Website (venue's website)


Online tickets: Adults ¥1500, University and High School Students ¥1200 Same-day tickets: Adults ¥1600, University and High School Students ¥1300, Junior High School Students and Under free.

Venue Hours

From 10:00 To 17:00
Closed on Mondays
Note:Open on public holiday Monday but closed on the following day. Closed during the New Year holidays and in between exhibitions.


Address: 6-5-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
Phone: 03-3400-2536 Fax: 03-3400-2436

8 minute walk from exit A5 at Omotesando Station on the Ginza, Hanzomon and Chiyoda lines.

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