one long line of calligraphy (14 characters); signature center L edge; light mauve mount

Sound of waves, early - mid 19th century

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Kikuchi Gozan was a famous poet during the late Edo period. He was born into a scholarly Confucian family and eventually established his own poetry school. Between 1804 and 1832, Gozan released ten issues of “Talks on Poetry from Gozan’s Study” (Gozandō shiwa), a publication that sought to introduce the works of hitherto unknown poets to the public.

A single line of calligraphy is a demanding exercise; its sparseness requires that both the composition of individual characters and the overall arrangement of them are interesting and well-balanced. This work, executed in running script, begins with a dark, heavy character for ‘night,’ the weight of which is emphasized and counter-balanced by the lightly written characters that follow. The varying thickness and wetness of brushstrokes reveal where Gozan has re-dipped his brush in the ink, and compliment the rhythm of his poem.
夜船燈火 漁家雨 秋枕涛殸 僧榻風
Light from a lamp at night in a boat— / Rain over the fisherman's home; / Sound of waves from an autumn pillow— / Wind over the Buddhist monk's bed!
(Trans. Stephen Addiss)

Details
Title
Sound of waves
Artist Life
1769 - 1849
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.29.206
Curator Approved

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one long line of calligraphy (14 characters); signature center L edge; light mauve mount