five lines of very small calligraphy on a tiny sheet of paper, mounted inside a circle with green and beige outer mount

Ninth Month, first half 18th century

expand_more

His contemporaries regarded Gion Nankai as the best Chinese-style poets of his time. Nankai gradually began painting in the literati style (nanga) and became one of the most significant artists for the establishment of nanga in Japan. This is amongst Nankai’s smallest extant work of calligraphy. Its scale and tight spacing give it a quiet intimacy that invites the viewer to pause and contemplate. The brushwork is energetic and precise. The extended vertical elements of seki 節 (‘season’) and kaze 風 (‘wind’) in the center column are not merely for decorative effect; the extra space they require conveys a shift in the rhythm of the poem.

九月東籬色 清佳家是 / 黄 南陽瓊泡酒 太漱鶴 / 垂裳 節挟風霜烈 思 / 含雨露香 更起坤土質 / 千歳照金寿
Ninth month: the color by the eastern hedge / Is the most pure beauty of yellow. / In the setting sun, magnificent wine foams up; / With this rich drink, I can watch cranes lower their robes. / In a season caught between wind and severe frost, / Cherishing the scent of rain and dew, / Their longevity comes from the substance of the earth— / For a thousand years, their golden petals will shine.
(Trans. Stephen Addiss)

Details
Title
Ninth Month
Artist Life
1677 - 1751
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.29.970
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

five lines of very small calligraphy on a tiny sheet of paper, mounted inside a circle with green and beige outer mount