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Unidentified artist

Not on view

Sixty Genji fans are superimposed over the painting of a kudzu vine that trails across all twelve panels of this pair of screens. The background painting, likely made independently of the fans, features a variety of leaf clusters and animated tendrils. Each “blossom” presents a single scene and a prose or poem excerpt from the tale. The arrangement of the fans does not follow chapter sequence but rather aligns with the cycle of the four seasons, with some chapters represented by more than one fan, while others are not included at all. A consistent painting style suggests production by a single studio, most likely in the late fifteenth century, making this one of the oldest cycles of Genji images.

On view from March 4–June 16, 2019.

Fans, Unidentified artist, Pair of six-panel folding screens, Japan

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