Tale of the Wisteria Robe

Tale of the Wisteria Robe

藤の衣物語絵巻断簡

mid- to late 1300s

Section of a handscroll mounted as a hanging scroll; ink on paper

Image: 16.2 x 33 cm (6 3/8 x 13 in.); Overall: 105.4 x 57.2 cm (41 1/2 x 22 1/2 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1985.132

Location

Description

Emaki are narrative handscrolls that normally illustrate stories with a sequence of paintings and text. This particular section of a handscroll known as Yujø illustrates a small portion of a courtly romantic tale. Several members of the court, both male and female, are shown seated in their rooms. They are depicted in dress and hairstyles from the Heian period (ad 794-1185), and are set amidst interior architectural elements and calligraphy. The text is read from the top to bottom of each "column," from right to left. Here the text is inscribed so as to form an integral component of the pictorial composition.

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