Landscape in Moonlight
Edo period (1615–1868)
One of a triptych of hanging scrolls; ink on silk
Image: 39 5/8 x 16 3/4 in. (100.6 x 42.5 cm)
Overall: 75 3/8 x 23 1/2 in. (191.5 x 59.7 cm)
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Not on view
These paintings (1975.268.49, .50, .51) by Tan'yū, the Tokugawa shogunate's official painter (goyō-eshi), reveal a striking shift of taste from the lush heroic style of the Momoyama period to the more controlled and erudite style of the Edo Kano school, which dominated Japanese art through the Edo period. Taking conventional landscape motifs from the tradition of the Eight Views of Xiao and Xiang Rivers, Tan'yū brilliantly recasts them in an ethereal panoramic view, balancing unpainted void with painted form and exploiting the separate-but-linked quality of the triptych format. All three scrolls bear the signature "Hōin Tan'yū," which indicates that they were made after this influential painter received the honorific title hōin from the government in 1662 at age sixty-one.