Miscellaneous Paintings and Calligraphy, Nagasawa Rosetsu (Japanese, 1754–1799), Sheets with calligraphy and painting attached to a pair of six-panel folding screens; ink on paper, Japan

Miscellaneous Paintings and Calligraphy

Nagasawa Rosetsu (Japanese, 1754–1799)
Shishin Sōgin (Japanese, 1726–1786)
Edo period (1615–1868)
second month, 1785
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)
Credit Line:
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
Accession Number:
1975.268.72, .73
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.
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)

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

Wang Shizhen (1526–1590),
“題雜畫 其二”

Men Haoran (ca. 691–740),

Pi Rixiu (834–883

Gao Shi (ca. 704–765),
[ 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.