Uji Bridge and Willows

Historical period(s)
Momoyama period, 1573-1615
Medium
Ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (each): 146.3 x 325.2 cm (57 5/8 x 128 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1968.39-40
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Screens (six-panel)

Keywords
bridge, Japan, Momoyama period (1573 - 1615), willow tree, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

The broad form of a bridge rendered in gold leaf links this pair of screens. Willows budding into leaf and touched by a light breeze are illuminated by a silvery moon. The flowing river is rendered as a stylized pattern of waves beneath the bridge and the hovering golden clouds. A close relationship to the art of lacquer decoration, which in Japan is dominated by silver and gold, is suggested by the brilliant and extensive use of gold in this painting.

This image represents the bridge at Uji, a famous place southeast of Kyoto that has a long tradition of historic and literary associations. Uji was the setting for the final ten chapters of The Tale of Genji, written by the court lady Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century. Uji also was associated with Buddhist beliefs in salvation.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton. Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 32, pp. 76-77.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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