Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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神農・夏冬山水図
Portrait of Emperor Shennong

Artist:
Kano Tan'yū (Japanese, 1602–1672)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
1665
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
One from a set of three hanging scrolls; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
41 1/2 x 18 3/16 in. (105.4 x 46.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Charles Stewart Smith Collection, Gift of Mrs. Charles Stewart Smith, Charles Stewart Smith Jr., and Howard Caswell Smith, in memory of Charles Stewart Smith, 1914
Accession Number:
14.76.27
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 226
Seasonal landscapes in a Chinese style evoking summer and winter flank an imaginary portrait of Shennong (Japanese: Shinnō), the legendary Chinese emperor and reputed inventor of agriculture and herbal medicine. The landscapes, markedly asymmetrical in keeping with the Chinese Southern Song (1127–1279) conventions, also follow the popular Japanese late medieval formula for landscapes: the summer scene features a tall waterfall with a gushing stream, while its companion is enveloped in the silence of winter snow, a solitary traveler and a single pennant denoting a wine shop as the sole signs of human presence.

The pair of landscapes (14.76.26, .28) were signed and dated by Tan’yū to his sixty-first year (1662), while the Shennong portrait (14.76.27), according to the signature, was brushed three years later, when the artist was sixty-four. Following the custom of having landscapes flank religious paintings to create a triptych, this set was brought together by a former owner
Inscription: Kunaikyo Hoin Tanyu Gio-nen 64 sai hitsu (painted by Tanyu of the Kunaikyo Hoin rank at the age of 64) (1665)

Marking: Seal: Kunaikyo Hoin
Related Objects

Winter Landscape

Artist: Kano Tan'yū (Japanese, 1602–1672) Date: 1662 Medium: One from a set of three hanging scrolls; ink and color on silk Accession: 14.76.26 On view in:Gallery 226

Summer Landscape

Artist: Kano Tan'yū (Japanese, 1602–1672) Date: 1662 Medium: One from a set of three hanging scrolls; ink and color on silk Accession: 14.76.28 On view in:Gallery 226

Landscapes of the Four Seasons

Artist: Kano Tan'yū (Japanese, 1602–1672) Date: 1630s Medium: Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on paper Accession: 2015.300.77.1, .2 On view in:Not on view

Sparrow and Bamboo

Artist: Attributed to Kano Tan'yū (Japanese, 1602–1672) Date: 17th century Medium: Hanging scroll; india ink on paper Accession: 14.76.35 On view in:Not on view

Fisherman

Artist: Kano Tan'yū (Japanese, 1602–1672) Date: 17th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper Accession: 60.47 On view in:Not on view