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Summer Landscape

Kano Tan'yū (Japanese, 1602–1674)

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
1662
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
44 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. (113 x 39.4 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:
14.76.28
  • Description

    The two landscape paintings of summer and winter scenes seen here (14.76.26, .28) were signed by Tan'yū at age sixty-one, while the central panel (14.76.27), an imaginary portrait of Shennong, the legendary Chinese god of agriculture and medicine, was signed by the same artist at age sixty-four. Clearly, the pair of landscapes and the portrait were combined into a triptych sometime after their execution, conforming to a longstanding Japanese custom that favored the format.

    The landscapes, markedly asymmetrical in keeping with the Chinese Southern Song tradition, also follow the popular Muromachi-period formula for landscapes: the summer scene is marked by a tall waterfall with a gushing stream, while its companion is enveloped in the silence of winter snow, with a solitary traveler and a single pennant denoting a wine shop as the sole signs of human presence.

  • See also
    Who
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
45700

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