Art/ Collection/ Art Object

見立『平家物語』 紅葉焚図
Parody of Palace Servants Heating Sake over a Fire of Maple Leaves

Artist:
Okumura Masanobu (Japanese, 1686–1764)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1750
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Red-colored woodblock print (benizuri-e); ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 16 5/16 × 11 3/4 in. (41.4 × 29.8 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund and Rogers Fund, 1949
Accession Number:
JP3079
Not on view
In one scene of The Tale of the Heike, Emperor Takakura happens upon servants who have swept up maple leaves to make a fire to heat sake. The emperor remarks that they seem to be aware of a poem by the Tang poet Bo Juyi alluding to just such a scene. In this parody of the episode, one of the servants plays a three-stringed shamisen, which is anachronistic, since the instrument was not used in Japan until the seventeenth century. Beside the scene the artist has added a hokku (seventeen-syllable seasonal poem), perhaps of his own composition

Irozuku ya
momiji o takite
sake no kan


How colorful!
Burning crimson leaves
to heat rice wine

—Trans. John T. Carpenter
Signature: Hōgetsudō Tanchōsai Okumura Bunkaku Masanobu ga
Seals: Tanchōsai and Masanobu
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Japanese Prints of the Classical Period," June 6, 1972–July 2, 1972.

New York. Japan Society Gallery. "Japanese Prints from the Ledoux Collection," September 1, 1973–November 25, 1973.

Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Autumn and Winter," June 22, 2006–September 10, 2006.

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