Jun 7, 2013

Crossing at Sano

Crossing at Sano


c. 1600-1640

studio of Tawaraya Sōtatsu 俵屋宗達

(Japanese, c. 1570-c. 1640)

Hanging scroll mounted as a single-panel screen; ink, color, and gold on paper

Overall: 161.7 x 139.2 x 46.3 cm (63 11/16 x 54 13/16 x 18 1/4 in.); Diameter of base: 46.3 cm (18 1/4 in.); Painting only: 125.9 x 121.4 cm (49 9/16 x 47 13/16 in.); with frame: 151.9 x 130.1 x 3.2 cm (59 13/16 x 51 1/4 x 1 1/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1949.554



Like many paintings from the Sōtatsu studio, a Kyoto-based atelier that ran the shop Tawaraya, this one is done in ink, mineral colors, and gold, and is formally reminiscent of 12th- and 13th-century paintings associated with the Japanese aristocracy. It depicts a man on horseback with two attendants crossing a bridge that once spanned the Kino River in Sano in eastern Wakayama Prefecture. The composition was inspired by a poem by Fujiwara no Teika (1162–1241) that translates as follows:

I stop my horse, but there is no shelter
as I brush off my sleeves
at Sano Crossing
in the evening snow.

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