Kano Motonobu 狩野元信

(Japanese, c. 1476–1559)

inscription by

calligraphy by Gesshū Jukei

(Japanese, 1470-1533)

Hanging scroll; ink on paper

Mounted: 104.7 x 48.9 cm (41 1/4 x 19 1/4 in.)

Gift from the Collection of George Gund III 2015.518



The large red tripod-shaped seal on this painting is that of Kano Motonobu, head of the Kano school atelier in Kyoto that served the shogun. Gesshū Jukei, a longtime resident of the Zen temple Kenninji in Kyoto, inscribed the poem. The two are known to have worked together on at least one other occasion. The poem describes an intimate meeting of dear friends, a suitable theme for a work that was likely given as a gift to an esteemed associate, perhaps weary of the politics of life in the capital.

In either fine weather or
during the rainy season the
mountain’s color is pale.

A friend visits, rowing his
boat while reciting a poem.

Tonight we’ll drink
together at the inn on the river.

Across, on the other side of the
river is a house with people
living in it, but there
is nothing to drink there.

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