two larger characters in horizontal format; two small characters with two red seals at left; one red seal, URC

Window Snow, late 17th - early 18th century

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Kō Gentai’s father was a Chinese administrator who had left Japan after fathering a child there. Gentai spent ten years as a young man searching unsuccessfully for his father in China and then returned to Japan to become an interpreter. He studied medicine and became a health expert, serving the shogun in Edo (today’s Tokyo) from 1709–1721. Gentai was known for his cursive script. This calligraphy shows two characters of stark contrast. For “window” on the right Gentai used the character 牕 instead of 窗 or 窓 which is the variation in use today. He simply omitted the radical 心 at bottom right of 牕 and constructed the remaining elements primarily of straight and rectangular lines. “Snow” on the left is usually written with eleven strokes but here Gentai rendered it very fluid with only four.

牕雪
Window Snow

Details
Title
Window Snow
Artist Life
1649 - 1722
Role
Calligrapher
Accession Number
2013.63.13
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.

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two larger characters in horizontal format; two small characters with two red seals at left; one red seal, URC