舞楽図屏風 ・唐獅子図屏風 Bugaku Dances (front); Chinese Lions (reverse)
Hanabusa Itchō (Japanese, 1652–1724)
Edo period (1615–1868)
early 18th century
Pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper
Image (each screen): 72 1/8 in. x 14 ft. 9 5/8 in. (183.2 x 451.2 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
Chinese Lions (Karajishi) Across the gold expanse of this pair of screens, nine Chinese lions (karajishi) gambol and playfully wrestle. Chinese lions were auspicious symbols of power in East Asian visual culture, and through the Momoyama and Edo periods times were frequently found on screens or sliding-door panels in elite samurai residences, castles, or temples. The dynamic brushwork, whether the jagged curves in dark ink, or the swirls of tails and in grayish tones, reveal the artist Hanabusa Itchō at the height of his artistic powers in his later years—after his return from exile in 1709 (apparently for disreputable behavior with samurai ladies). On the reverse side is a colorful depiction of bugaku (court dance) performances, in a hyper-meticulous but very traditional mode. This set of screens, revealing two sides of Itchō’s stylistic capabilities, is said to be the artist’s most expensive commission, possibly for one of his top patrons in 1713.
Bugaku Dances Illustrated scrolls recording the costumes and gestures of ancient court dances inspired the popular Edo theme drawn from the colorful and exotic bugaku repertory—one of the many appropriations of classic imagery that provided a rich source for the bold design innovations of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Japanese artists. In this work, painted in Itchō’s later years, the figures seem to dance within and against the gold surface.
Signature: .57: Hokusō-ō Hanabuso Itchō; seal: Shuzai San-un Senseki Kan .58: Hokusō-ō Itchō; seal: Shuzai San-un Senseki Kan
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art, Part II," May 1, 1996–September 8, 1996.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part One)," 1997–98.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enlightening Pursuits," February 28, 2001–August 5, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Mighty Kano School: Orthodoxy and Iconoclasm," December 18, 2004–June 5, 2005.
Tokyo. Mori Art Museum. "The Smile in Japanese Art," January 27, 2007–May 6, 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ukiyo-e Artists' Responses to Romantic Legends of Two Brothers: Narihira and Yukihira," March 27, 2008–June 8, 2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.
Artist: In the Style of Hanabusa Itchō (Japanese, 1652–1724)Date: 19th centuryMedium: Metal and lacquer, dark silver metal, incised, roiro, gold hiramakie, raden, aogai; Interior: fundame, four boxesAccession: 29.82.7On view in:Not on view
Artist: Hanabusa Itchō (Japanese, 1652–1724)Date: 18th–19th centuryMedium: Lacquer, roiro, gold, silver, brown and red hiramakie, various inlay; Interior: nashiji and fundameAccession: 29.100.795On view in:Not on view