The Tale of Genji, Chapter 34; Kashiwagi catches sight of the Third Princess

Maker(s)
Artist: Tosa Mitsuoki (1617-1691)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 17th century
Medium
Ink, color and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 171.7 x 376.8 cm (67 5/8 x 148 3/8 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1904.118
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Screen (six-panel)

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, princess, The Tale of Genji
Provenance

To 1904
Yamanaka & Company, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1904 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] Undated folder sheet note. See Screens and Panels List, L. 90, pg. 25, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

Written in the early eleventh century by a lady of the imperial court, Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji presents an enthralling narrative of the life of Prince Genji. Already illustrated before the end of the Heian period (794-1185), the pictorial conventions for Genji illustrations were well established. All fifty-four chapters, separated by golden clouds, could be illustrated on a large Japanese screen, but sometimes one chapter was illustrated on one of a pair of screens.
This screen shows a scene from chapter thirty-four, "New Herbs I," in which courtier Kashiwagi, Genji's rival at court, falls in love during a kickball game when he glimpses Prince Genji's new wife through a bamboo blind that has been pushed open by a pet cat. Pictorial conventions of Japanese narrative painting-the high perspective and the depiction of the room's framework as if the roof has been removed-are faithfully maintained in this painting.

Published References
  • Murasaki Shikibu. Genji monogatari. 6 vols, Tokyo. col. pl. 2..
  • Murasaki Shikibu, Midori Sano, Estelle Leggeri-Bauer. Le dit du Genji (The Tale of Genji). 3 vols., Paris. .
  • unknown title. no. 247 Tokyo, December 1986. fig. 66.
  • Tomoko Emura. Tosa Mitsuyoshi. no. 543 Japan. .
  • Ann McClellan. The Cherry Blossom Festival. Boston. p. 13.
  • Eiichi Taguchi, Mariko Inamoto, Saeko Kimura, Aya Ryusawa. Sugu wakaru Genji monogatari no kaiga. Tokyo. pp. 94-95.
  • Yoshiaki Shimizu. An Individual Taste for Japanese Painting. vol. 118, no. 258 London, August 1983. pp. 136-149, pl. 7.
  • The Tale of Genji. Tokyo. p. 150.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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