Scene from the Tale of Genji (Hana No En, “Festival of the Cherry Blossoms”)
After Iwasa Matabei
On View: Asian Galleries, North, 2nd floor (Japan)
The rigid social structure portrayed in The Tale of Genji is represented in this scene in which the protagonist becomes enthralled by a woman of a different clan. The contrast of the natural elements with the linearity of the architecture mirrors the tension between Genji's true desires and his social responsibilities. The lush natural setting of the pavilion typifies the quarters on the outskirts of Kyoto that the aristocracy inhabited beginning in the Muromanchi period (1392–1573 ).
Hanging scroll, ink color and gold leaf on paper
49 3/16 x 18 1/8 in. (125 x 46 cm)
Image: 18 3/8 x 13 5/16 in. (46.6 x 33.8 cm) (show scale)
Purchased with funds given by Mrs. Louis Nathanson and the Frank L. Babbott Fund
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After Iwasa Matabei (17th century). Scene from the Tale of Genji (Hana No En, “Festival of the Cherry Blossoms”), 17th century. Hanging scroll, ink color and gold leaf on paper, 49 3/16 x 18 1/8 in. (125 x 46 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Mrs. Louis Nathanson and the Frank L. Babbott Fund, 66.76 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 66.76_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
overall, 66.76_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
The scene shows Genji and the princess, Oborozukiyo, meeting on the terrace of a pavilion overlooking a garden. Gold clouds waft through the scene. The moon is seen above the clouds to the left of the lovers. The pavilion stands above a stream colored blue. The cherry blossoms are in bloom on trees to the left of the pavilion and somewhat obscured by the clouds. A green hill can be seen rising in the top left. The lady is dressed in layers of kimono. The outer kimono is colored red and decorated with a gold floral design, her black hair streams down her back like a cascading waterfall. Genji is dressed in a brocaded garment which was originally silver but has since oxidized and is black. The longish face of Genji, rather prominent nose, smallish eyes and mouth form are in the style of Iwasa Matabei.
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