The imaginary landscape stretching across these screens presents
a progression through the four seasons, with spring and summer
on the right screen and autumn and winter on the left screen.
In various places gentlemen relax in Chinese-style pavilions,
converse with female companions, hold drinking parties, or make
their way through the landscape.
This theme is a typical example of the gentleman-scholar’s
idealized vision of a world of leisure and an escape from the
day-to-day cares of life. Both this theme and the representation
of landscapes in the four seasons derive from Chinese painting.
Though the work has much in common stylistically with Scenes
of Rice Cultivation in the Four Seasons (first half only),
the depiction of leisurely pursuits contrasts with the emphasis
on labor in those screens.