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Scenes from the Tale of Genji: "The Royal Outing" and "The Gate House"

Tosa Mitsuyoshi (Japanese, 1539–1613)

Period:
Momoyama period (1573–1615)
Date:
mid-16th–early 17th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Pair of four-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold on gilt paper
Dimensions:
Overall (each screen): 65 1/2 x 140 in. (166.4 x 355.6 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1955
Accession Number:
55.94.1, .2
  • Description

    On view Rotation 1, August 17–November 3, 2013

    These two screens were originally sliding panels, most likely part of a larger set that enclosed a room. The left screen illustrates Chapter 16, "The Gatehouse" (Sekiya) when Genji unexpectedly encounters Utsusemi long after they have ended an illicit and ephemeral affair.

    The right screen illustrates two chapters. The first scene is from Chapter 29, "The Royal Outing" (Miyuki). In the flurries of snow, princes and high courtiers are approaching in procession while falconers and huntsmen rush to hunt. The other scene, at the lower left is from Chapter 51, "A Boat upon the Waters" (Ukifune). In the heavy night snowfall, Prince Niou, Genji's grandson abducts the young princess Ukifune. These three scenes seem to have been selected by the artist because they are set outdoors and could be connected in the composition by the landscape and time of year. An inscription on the far left-hand panel attributes the work to Tosa Mitsuyoshi, primarily known for his delicate album leaf paintings on classical themes. The inscription also identifies the panel as a replacement painted by Mitsuyoshi's grandson, Tosa Mitsuoki (1617–1691).

  • See also
    Who
    What
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
39665:2

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