unsigned; 6 panel screens with various scenes divided by gold clouds; at R, men and women are gathered in a room with two female musicians; at LR, a man on a verandah gazes inside at a kneeling woman; other groups of men around outside; other vignettes of people gathered outside, near carriages, or inside rooms with verandahs

Scenes from the Tale of Genji [left of a pair], 17th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

In some ways, this pair of screens is quite typical of Edo-period paintings of The Tale of Genji. The artist frames each individual scene with scalloped gold clouds. He also uses the fukinuki-yatai (literally, “blown-off roof”) method of depicting architectural spaces, so that viewers gain an unobstructed bird’s-eye view of buildings' interiors. This convention can be traced back to the earliest depictions of The Tale of Genji from the 1100s. The content of these screens, however, is anything but conventional. While many artists of Genji screens arranged scenes sequentially from right to left or in seasonal order from spring to fall, this artist developed a far more sophisticated organization in which the relationships between illustrated scenes is not easily understood without vast knowledge of the original novel. Indeed, the organizing principle of this painting is not yet fully understood.

Details
Title
Scenes from the Tale of Genji [left of a pair]
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.31.66.1
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

unsigned; 6 panel screens with various scenes divided by gold clouds; at R, men and women are gathered in a room with two female musicians; at LR, a man on a verandah gazes inside at a kneeling woman; other groups of men around outside; other vignettes of people gathered outside, near carriages, or inside rooms with verandahs