Horse Race at the Kamo Shrine

Horse Race at the Kamo Shrine

1615-50

Part of a set. See all set records

Tosa School

(Japanese)

Pair of six-panel folding screens, ink and color on gilded paper

Image: 161 x 362 cm (63 3/8 x 142 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1976.95

Fun Fact

The winner is decided by the distance between horses, not by which horse finished first.

Description

Here nearly 600 figures, engaged in a bewildering array of activities, have gathered at the Kamo Shrine in Kyoto for the horse race held annually on May 5 since at least the 800s. The entire populace seems to have turned out, apparent in the diversions and revelries spread out across these resplendent byøbu. The race begins on the right screen and continues far into the left along the lower half of the composition. Here the painter's genius for depicting engaging crowd scenes, a characteristic of Heian pictorial compositions, emerges in full force. The range of textile patterns alone is astonishing. The upper regions of the composition feature the shrine, its setting in northern Kyoto west of Lake Takaragaike, its architecture, and the visitors whose intentions range from casually mundane to spiritual. These paintings were originally part of a much larger pictorial narrative of linked murals in fusuma-e format. Four segments are known today from what must have been an extraordinary room of contiguous surfaces, executed by studio-trained but anonymous masters of yamato-e genre painting in Kyoto. The scale of the paintings and the quality of the materials indicate that they were commissioned by a sophisticated, wealthy patron.

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.