The subject of Roshu's byøbu lies in the later Heian era, tucked away in a poem contained in the anthology Tales of Ise: a courtier (in the blue outer robe) traveling far from the capital happens upon an itinerant monk on a pass on Mount Utsu in eastern Japan. He entrusts the monk with a letter to a former lover in the capital, Kyoto, from which he has been exiled. The poignancy of the subject, set in this charged and luminous setting, attracted Roshp (who was not a prolific artist) more than any other Edo painter, perhaps because he found himself exiled at the age of sixteen on account of a scandal involving his father.

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Ivy Lane, 1700s

six-fold screen, ink and color on gilded paper, Image: 133.10 x 267.60 cm (52 3/8 x 105 5/16 inches); Overall: 136.50 x 271.00 cm (53 11/16 x 106 11/16 inches); Closed: 135.60 x 46.30 x 11.00 cm (53 3/8 x 18 3/16 x 4 5/16 inches); Panel: 133.10 x 44.60 cm (52 3/8 x 17 1/2 inches). John L. Severance Fund 1954.127

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