Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Autumn Ivy

Ogata Kenzan (Japanese, 1663–1743)
Edo period (1615–1868)
after 1732
Album leaf mounted as a hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on paper
Image: 8 3/8 x 10 7/8 in. (21.3 x 27.6 cm) Overall: 44 7/8 x 22 1/4 in. (114 x 56.5 cm)
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:
Not on view
Although ceramics were his forte, Kenzan occasionally tested his skills as a painter, and there is a rugged energy to his works on paper that effectively complements his idiosyncratic, expressive calligraphy. This image recalls a famous episode from the tenth-century Ise Stories (Ise monogatari) in which the protagonist encounters an itinerant monk along an ivy-strewn path on Mount Utsu.

Kenzan’s freely inscribed waka (thirty-one syllable Japanese poem) reads:

Kakaru shimo
waga aki naranu
matsukaze y
chiru o urami no
tsuta no momijiba

Though not yet
winds through the pines
blow all around
and I dread they’ll scatter
the crimson leaves of ivy.
—Trans. John T. Carpenter
Signature: Signature

Marking: Seal
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