Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Women at Chinese Court

In the Style of Kano Eitoku (Japanese, 1534–1590)
Momoyama period (1573–1615)
16th century
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on gilded paper
61 1/8 x 45 1/2in. (155.3 x 115.6cm)
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.495g, h
Not on view
In this painting, a vivacious scene of Chinese court life, the grace of the palace beauties is accentuated by their poses, especially that of the woman in the center, who slightly twists her body to admire a bluebird perched on the hand of a lady-in-waiting. The palace architecture, a Taihu rock, blossoming cherry and pear trees, and Chinese roses enrich the sense of exotic palace life.
The meticulous brushwork of the draperies and the solid texture of the rock indicate a Kano painter of the Momoyama period, one who might have worked closely with Mitsunobu, the eldest son of the great master Kano Eitoku. Formerly the two left panels of an eight-panel screen, they were remounted as a hanging scroll, since the two panels were the works of another artist.
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