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Scenes from the Tale of Genji

Asian Art

In this screen, Prince Genji (shown with chrysanthemums in his hat) rehearses a traditional dance with a friend (wearing maple leaves) in a courtyard while a woman watches from behind a screen. The woman may be one of Genji's love interests, the lovely Fujitsubo. In one corner, a woman stands on a game board, reciting poetry for small audience. This composition offers a strong sense of the Japanese courtly ideal, in which members of the aristocracy were expected to pass time in pursuit of highly refined and traditional forms of beauty.

MEDIUM Pair of six-fold screens, ink and colors on gold leaf
DATES Early 17th century
PERIOD Edo Period
DIMENSIONS 45 1/2 x 68 1/2 in. (115.6 x 174 cm) Image (outer panel): 61 3/4 x 21 3/4 in. (156.8 x 55.2 cm) Image (inner panel): 61 3/4 x 24 1/4 in. (156.8 x 61.6 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
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CAPTION Scenes from the Tale of Genji, Early 17th century. Pair of six-fold screens, ink and colors on gold leaf, 45 1/2 x 68 1/2 in. (115.6 x 174 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 77.140a-b. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 77.140a_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Scenes from the Tale of Genji