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Plum flowers and two sparrows
Important Cultural Property
Attributed to Ma Lin
1 hanging scroll
(Some of the works of thePlum flowers and two sparrows)
Color on silk
Southern Song period/13th century
Donated by Mr. Yamamoto Tatsuro
Tokyo National Museum
Barin was a painter of the Imperial Painting Academy who was active in the period ruled by Neiso (1194 to 1224) of the Southern Song Dynasty. He was the son of Baen, one of the painters representing the Imperial Painting Academy in Southern Song, succeeded his father in artistry and excelled in sansui, kacho and figure paintings.
 This picture accompanies the title ("梅雀 右 馬麟"), which was presumably written by Noami and has been handed down in Japan as a painting by Barin for generations since the Ashikaga Shogunate. Although it is not clear whether the picture was drawn by Barin since it bears no signature or seal, the representation of ume branches show brushwork similar to that of the Baen school and the refined representation of ume flowers and sparrows demonstrates the unique characteristics of the paintings of the Imperial Art Academy in Southern Song. In the right upper corner of the picture is affixed a Zakkashitsu Seal (hakubunhoin), which is said to be an authentication seal of the sixth shogun Ashikaga Yoshinori and the picture has been treasured as part of Higashiyama Gomotsu (imperial collection of the Muromachi period). It seems that this picture was appreciated in Japan as a pair with Baika Shokinzu, a picture with the Zakkashitsu Seal also attributed to Barin that has the same size as this picture and currently owned by the Gotoh Museum. It was previously owned by Tatsuo Yamamoto.