Ogata Korin: Art in Early Modern Japan
Yale University Press, 2021
Best known for his paintings Irises and Red and White Plum Blossoms, Ogata Korin (1658–1716) was a highly successful artist who worked in many genres and media—including hanging scrolls, screen paintings, fan paintings, lacquer, textiles, and ceramics. Combining archival research, social history, and visual analysis, Frank Feltens situates Korin within the broader art culture of early modern Japan. He shows how financial pressures, client preferences, and the impulse toward personal branding in a competitive field shaped Korin’s approach to art-making throughout his career. Feltens also offers a keen visual reading of the artist’s work, highlighting the ways Korin’s artistic innovations succeeded across media, such as his introduction of painterly techniques into lacquer design and his creation of ceramics that mimicked the appearance of ink paintings. This book, the first major study of Korin in English, provides an intimate and thought-provoking portrait of one of Japan’s most significant artists.