Page from the "Anthology of Poems by Thirty-Six Poets"

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

Geography:
Made in Japan, Asia

Period:
Heian period (794-1185)

Date:
1108-1112

Medium:
Ink and silver over mica woodblock printing on paper; mounted as a hanging scroll

Dimensions:
8 x 6 1/4inches (20.3 x 15.9cm) Mount: 36 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches (93.3 x 40 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1965-77-1

Credit Line:
Gift (by exchange) of Mrs. Henry W. Breyer, Sr., 1965

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Label:
This scroll shows a page from the Anthology of Poems by Thirty-Six Poets, believed to have been commissioned for the sixtieth birthday celebrations of the Emperor Shirakawa in 1112. Some twenty of the leading calligraphers of the time worked on this anthology, and the elegant brushwork evident here is typical of the entire collection. Lady Ise (died about 940), the author of these verses, was one of the well-educated aristocratic women of her time, many of whose poetic and prose works have survived to the present day.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    A design of chrysanthemums and plum blossoms, woodblock printed in a white ink made of shimmering ground mica, decorates the paper of this album leaf on which an elegant cursive script is brushed in black ink. The sheet is also embellished with pine branches, bellflowers, maple leaves, and birds delicately painted and stamped in silver. This page from a collection of poems by Lady Ise, who died about 940, originally formed part of a sumptuous edition of the "Anthology of Poems by Thirty-Six Poets" believed to have been commissioned for the sixtieth birthday celebrations of the emperor Shirakawa in 1112. The anthology consisted of some 190 pages that were separated in 1929, when several leaves were mounted as hanging scrolls. Some twenty of the leading calligraphers of the time worked on the project. The refined brushwork done on richly decorated paper is typical of the entire anthology, which reflects the aesthetic preferences of the ruling class of the Heian period. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 38.