Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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山水唐人物図屏風
Landscapes with the Chinese Literati Su Shi and Tao Qian

Artist:
Nagasawa Rosetsu (Japanese, 1754–1799)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
1795–99
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink on gold leaf on paper
Dimensions:
Image (each screen): 67 3/8 in. x 12 ft. 2 3/4 in. (171.1 x 372.7 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.268.75, .76
Not on view
The forbidding, grotto-pierced precipice at left suggests a site on the Yangzi River where the Chinese poet Su Shi (Dongpo, 1037–1101) composed his famous “Ode on the Red Cliff.” The gentler scene at the right, centering on a scholar with young attendants in a hut within a willow grove, is meant to depict the Chinese poet-recluse Tao Qian (Tao Yuanming, 365–472) in his country retreat. The artist seems to have set up an explicit contrast between the two scenes: Su’s forced exile (wild) against Tao’s self-imposed exile (calm).

Rosetsu developed such an idiosyncratic style that he became known as one of the “Three Eccentrics” (the other two being Itō Jakuchū and Soga Shōhaku). He is renowned for his bravura handling of line and wash, as seen in these screens.
Signature: (right screen): signed "Heian Rosetsu sha"; sealed "gyo"; (left screen): signed "Rosetsu sha"; sealed "gyo"
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