Collection Database

Western Kings on Horseback

Important cultural property

Place of production or style
Early Western-style painting
Number of components
Pair of four-panel folding screens
Format and materials
Color on paper
Dimensions (in cm)
L. 167.9, W. 237.0 (each)
Date of production
Momoyama period   Early 17th century

This is a masterpiece of early Western-style painting. Once a treasured possession at Aizu Wakamatsu Castle (Tsuruga Castle), it forms a pair with a folding screen currently in the Kobe City Museum collection. From right, the figures are thought to be the King of Persia, the King of Abyssinia (King of Ethiopia), and Henry IV of France. There are several theories about the identity of the figure on the far left including the King of England, or François de Lorraine, Duke of Guise, or Charles V. The painting references a world map published in Amsterdam, magnified, colored, and finished on the large folding screen in a stunning display of the painter's skills.

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