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Anthology of Japanese and Chinese Poems (Wakan rōeishū) with Underpainting of Arrowroot Vines

Konoe Nobuhiro (Japanese, 1599–1649)

Artist:
Underpainting attributed to Hasegawa Sōya (Japanese, born 1590)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
early 17th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Six-panel folding screen; ink and color on gilt paper
Dimensions:
Image: 65 3/4 x 148 in. (167 x 375.9 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
Purchase, several members of The Chairman's Council Gifts, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.423
  • Description

    Thirty-six poem cards; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper Swaying arrowroot vines (kuzu) in autumnal decline serve as the background for an array of Japanese and Chinese poems inscribed on poem cards (shikishi). In East Asia the arts of poetry, calligraphy, and painting are considered the “three perfections,” and since the ninth century, the Japanese have decorated screens with paintings and poems inscribed in fine calligraphy.

    Three pairs of shikishi are pasted on each panel: each pair is inscribed with a couplet from a Chinese poem at the right and a waka (a thirty-one-syllable Japanese-style poem) at the left. The poems share common themes such as the four seasons, bamboo, pines, or clouds. The idiosyncratic style of calligraphy, with hooks at the ends of strokes and the tall, elongated profile of the characters, is attributable to the nobleman-calligrapher Konoe Nobuhiro (1599–1649).

61941

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