Horse and Groom


Not on view

This small fragment of a handscroll, now remounted as a hanging scroll, portrays a steed and its groom, a painting subject with a long history in both China and Japan. Pictures of celebrated horses appear individually or in groups on a variety of Japanese painting formats, from scrolls to large-scale works on folding screens and panels, and were held in particularly high regard. Folding screens featuring images of horses, for example, served as a backdrop for the enthroned emperor when he viewed equestrian activities. During the Heian period, paintings of horses that are recorded as having decorated screens used in select rooms of the imperial residence were thought to hold special power and were even rumored to come to life at night.

Horse and Groom, Unidentified Artist, Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, Japan

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