Landscapes with the Chinese Literati Su Shi and Tao Qian
Nagasawa Rosetsu (Japanese, 1754–1799)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink on gold leaf on paper
Image (each screen): 67 3/8 in. x 12 ft. 2 3/4 in. (171.1 x 372.7 cm)
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
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"
Kyoto National Museum. "Japanese Painting of the Pre-Modern Age," October 9, 1984–November 11, 1984.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art (Part One)," October 12, 1995–April 28, 1996.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part One)," 1997–98.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1998.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Blossoms of Many Colors: A Selection from the Permanent Collection of Japanese Art," March 21, 2000–August 9, 2000.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enlightening Pursuits," February 28, 2001–August 5, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Written Image: Japanese Calligraphy and Paintings from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection," October 1, 2002–March 2, 2003.
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. "Traditions Unbound: Groundbreaking Painters of Eighteenth-Century Kyoto," December 3, 2005–February 26, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Flowing Streams: Scenes from Japanese Arts and Life," December 21, 2006–June 3, 2007.
Tokyo National Museum. "The Splendor of Japanese Art by Masters: The 120th Commemoration of 'KOKKA'," July 8, 2008–August 17, 2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.
Zurich. Museum Rietberg. "Nagasawa Rosetsu," November 15, 2018–January 15, 2018.
Artist: Nagasawa Rosetsu (Japanese, 1754–1799)Date: second month, 1785Medium: Sheets with calligraphy and painting attached to a pair of six-panel folding screens; ink on paperAccession: 1975.268.72, .73On view in:Not on view