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Wang Ziyou Visits Dai Andao (left); A Monk Claps His Hands (right)

Kano Sansetsu Japanese

Not on view

The left screen depicts a story associated with the fourth-century Chinese Eastern Jin dynasty (317–420) calligrapher and poet Wang Huizhi (or Ziyou; 321–379), who one day set out to visit his friend Dai Andao. For his own enjoyment, Wang traveled by boat, but upon reaching Dai’s gate, decided that the inspiration had ended and returned home. The right screen depicts a solitary monk standing before the entrance gate to his hermitage, clapping his hands beneath a full moon. The scene illustrates a line from the poem, “On Li Guan’s Hermitage,” by the Tang poet Jia Dao (779–843).

Through the skillful application of light and dark ink, Sansetsu creates an impression of spatial depth and conveys a sense of the volume and quality of each motif. The sketch for a nearly identical pair of screens appears in an album of landscapes jointly painted by Sansetsu and his father, Sanraku (1559–1635), now in a private collection. Each screen is signed, “Sansetsu,” and pressed with a jar-shaped, square-framed seal, also reading “Sansetsu.”

Wang Ziyou Visits Dai Andao (left); A Monk Claps His Hands (right), Kano Sansetsu (Japanese, 1590–1651), Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and gold paint on paper, Japan

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