Sheets with calligraphy and painting attached to a pair of six-panel folding screens; ink on paper
Image (each screen): 62 3/8 in. x 11 ft. 7 5/8 in. (158.4 x 354.6 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
Painting and poetry have long been revered as sister arts in the East Asian cultural tradition. Painters have sought inspiration in poetry, while poets have inscribed their work on paintings. For instance, here ink paintings by the independent artist Rosetsu were attached as separate sheets to screens and complemented on the right screen by two classic Ming-dynasty poems composed by Li Panlong (1514–1570) and Wang Shizhen (1526–1590), along with a Tang-dynasty poem by Men Haoran (ca. 691–740). On the left screen are two additional Tang poems by Pi Rixiu (834–883), and Gao Shi (ca. 704–765), and a colophon by the monk-calligrapher Shishin Sōgin. The last panel, pasted next to the painting of peonies, has a cyclical date indicating the calligraphy was inscribed in the second month of 1785.
Signed by Rosetsu in his early calligraphic style, this pair is the only extant work of a monumental scale dating from the artist’s early career. The calligrapher Shishin Sōgin (or Sōkon) was the eighth abbot of Hantō’in subtemple of Myōshinji, Kyoto, in the lineage of Hakuin Ekaku. He trained Maruyama Ōkyo in Zen and calligraphy, and in return learned painting from the great artist. The calligraphy on these screens was inscribed a year before he died.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: PAINTINGS: Signature on each painting: Rosetsu shai Seals: Rosetsu 蘆雪 (square intaglio 白文方印), Masakatsu 政勝(square intaglio 白文方印)
Appraiser’s signature on each painting: Shinseki mugi (utagainai) Kan’ei 真蹟無疑 完瑛 (Unquestionably a genuine painting, [appraised by] Kan’ei) NB. Kan’ei refers to the Shijō artist Nishiyama Kan’ei 西山完瑛 (1834-1897) Appraiser’s seal ( on each painting): Kan’ei kan完瑛鑑(Authenticated by Kan’ei)
CALLIGRAPHY: Signature on sixth calligraphy panel, right screen: Hanazono Shishin sō sho; Inscription on sixth calligraphy panel, left screen: Kinotomi no chūshun Shōtei ni gū [suru] hi shujin no motome ni ōjite sho[su]
Seals on each calligraphy panel: Sōgin no in (square intaglio); Shishin (square intaglio); Enchō Unken 煙鳥雲歛 (oval relief)
Li Panlong (1514–1570), 李攀龍 “和梁憲使過密咏天仙宫白松” 孤根一託蕊珠宫，不與苕華粉黛同。夜暗龍鱗銜自照，天清鶴影望來空。條封姑射千秋雪，盖擁蘭臺萬里風。非為子雲能作賦，誰知玉樹本青蔥。
Wang Shizhen (1526–1590), 王世貞 “題雜畫 其二” 雲作斷續峯，烟爲濃淡樹。借問此中人，寧知此中趣。
Men Haoran (ca. 691–740), 孟浩然 “春曉” 春眠不覺曉，處處聞啼鳥。夜來風雨聲，花落知多少。
Pi Rixiu (834–883 皮日休 “閒夜酒醒”： 醒來山月高,孤枕羣書裏。酒渴漫思茶，山童呼不起。
Gao Shi (ca. 704–765), 高適 “聽張立本女吟” 危冠廣袖楚宫妝，獨步閒庭逐夜凉。自把玉釵敲砌竹，清歌一曲月如霜。
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: A Decade of Collecting Japanese Art," September 29, 2001–March 10, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.
Zurich. Museum Rietberg. "ROSETSU-Ferocious brush," September 5, 2018–November 4, 2018.