Snipe Over a Marsh from the Three Dusks

Maker(s)
Artist: Kano Tan'yū 狩野探幽 (1602-1674)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1665
Medium
Ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 30.5 × 44.9 cm (12 × 17 11/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1904.372
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kakemono, snipe
Provenance

To 1904
Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921), Kidderminster, England, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Michael Tomkinson in 1904 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Kakemono Reserved List, R. 397, pg. 10, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[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)

Michael Tomkinson (C.L. Freer source) 1841-1921
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

The "Three Dusks" or "Three Evening Poems" is a famous group of three poems by three different authors. The poems are recorded in the imperial poetry anthology Shin kokinshu, compiled in the early thirteenth century. The poem below, composed by the Buddhist monk Saigyo (1118-1190), is inscribed on this painting by Kano Tan'yu, one of the leading artists of the seventeenth century.


While denying his heart,
Even a priest must feel his body knows
The depth of a sad beauty:
From a marsh at autumn twilight
Snipes that rise and wing away.


Using only the palest tones of ink and tints of translucent color, Tan'yu has created a subtle and indefinite pictorial image that echoes the mood of the poem.  The refined and elegant calligraphy of the inscription is attributed to Imperial Prince Ryosho (1622-1693), who became a Buddhist monk in 1634.


Translation by Robert H. Brower and Earl Miner, Japanese Court Poetry (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961)

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects