Scenes from the "Tales of Ise"

Scenes from the "Tales of Ise"

mid-1600s

Part of a set. See all set records

One of a pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color and gold on paper

Image: 95.2 x 267 cm (37 1/2 x 105 1/8 in.); Overall: 109.3 x 258.9 cm (43 1/16 x 101 15/16 in.); Closed: 109.3 x 48.5 x 11 cm (43 1/16 x 19 1/8 x 4 5/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1969.127.2

Description

While the 11th-century Tale of Genji is universally regarded as Japan's literary masterpiece, the source for visual imagery in Japanese culture is rivaled by another literary classic, the Tales of Ise. A 10th-century anthology of poems interspersed with commentary, the Ise portrays the emotional and geographical journey of a courtier from the capital (Kyoto) into the countryside and beyond. The poems describe features of the natural, untamed terrain, linking them to the rather melancholy state of the traveler.

Since the Tales of Ise was—and remains today—well read by educated Japanese, a person viewing these folding screens would immediately recognize its subject, organized as a series of discrete scenes read from right to left. Neither a signature nor a seal identifies the artist, but judging from related paintings, the work can be ascribed to an artist working in Kyoto during the first quarter of the 17th century in the manner of the painter Iwasa Matabei (1578–1650). This type of historical narrative composition became quite popular around 1600 among patrons favoring a distinctly Japanese style of painting which employed rich mineral pigments and a liberal use of gold.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.