Utatane Monogatari (The Tale of Utatane)

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Historical period(s)
Muromachi period, 1392-1568
Medium
Ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 16.2 x 1108.8 cm (6 3/8 x 436 9/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1961.8
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Handscroll

Keywords
boat, garden, go, Japan, Muromachi period (1333 - 1573), The Tale of Utatane, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

This painting is executed in a technique called hakubyoga (white drawing), which combines light, wirelike lines and solid black accents with occasional touches of red or gold. Hakubyoga was initially used in the mid-thirteenth century to illustrate tales of courtly romance. The form may have developed as a recognition of the inherent beauty of outline drawings to which polychrome pigment was then applied. This "incomplete" stage was adapted and refined to a distinct representational method. The variations of black and subtle hints of color effectively suggest the delicate currents of emotion underlying the repetitive formality of court life.

Published References
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 2: pl. 30.
  • Zaigai hiho [(Japanese Paintings in Western Collections]. 3 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2: pt. I and pt. II, p. 92, pl. 67.
  • Great Drawings of All Time. 4 vols., New York. .
  • Mayuyama Junkichi. Japanese Art in the West. Tokyo. pl. 152 a, b.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 74, vol. 2: p. 174.
  • Charles Franklin Sayre. Japanese Court-Style Narrative Painting of the Late Middle Ages. vol. 35 New York and Honolulu, HI. p. 79, fig. 14.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 107.
  • Crossing the Sea: Essays on East Asian Art in Honor of Professor Yoshiaki Shimizu. Princeton. p. 118, fig. 14.
  • Melissa McCormick. Tosa Mitsunobu and the Small Scroll in Medieval Japan. Seattle and London. pp. 127, 132, fig. 60.
  • Narasaki Muneshige. On the Picture Scrolls of the Utatane-zoshi. no. 756 Tokyo, September 1957. pp. 275-281, pl. 2.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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