The artist Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858) was long considered a late and somewhat minor player in the Rimpa school, which emerged in Kyoto early in the Edo Period (1603-1868). The Suntory Museum of Art's current exhibition now re-evaluates Kiitsu's career and his contributions to this tradition. "Suzuki Kiitsu Standard Bearer of the Edo Rimpa School" brings together just over 200 works by the artist and those in his immediate circle.

The Rimpa school (also known as Rinpa) takes its name ("Rin") from Ogata Korin (1658-1716) who, with his brother Ogata Kenzan (1663-1743), consolidated and furthered the artistic innovations originating half a century earlier with Tawaraya Sotatsu and Hon'ami Koetsu. The school's style was revived in Edo (present day Tokyo) toward the end of the Edo Period by Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828), establishing the Edo Rimpa school.

Kiitsu was apprenticed to Hoitsu at the age of 18. A decorated fan at the exhibition displays the master's calligraphy combined with the younger artist's eye for design — a gesture that reflects their good relationship, and continues the long Rimpa tradition of such collaborations.