"Imperial Visit to the Great Horse Race at the Kaya-no-in Mansion" (Kaya-no-in komakurabe gyōkō emaki), from the Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari)
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
Handscroll segment mounted as a hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
12 7/8 x 17 13/16 in. (32.7 x 45.2 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
A few days in the autumn of 1024 are the setting for this episode from the quasi-historical chronicle of the life of Fujiwara Michinaga (966–1027), the great Heian-court politician and patron of the arts. As the race is about to begin, the visitors make their way to the viewing stand. Especially notable here are the dramatic use of space and the complicated rhythms created by the placement of the figures—evidence of the narrative sophistication capable of the imperial painting studio, where this scroll was most likely created.