Mar 31, 2009
Mar 31, 2009





Part of a set. See all set records

Watanabe Shikō 渡辺 始興

(Japanese, 1683–1755)

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

Overall: 154 x 334.3 cm (60 5/8 x 131 5/8 in.)

Gift of The Norweb Foundation 1954.603



The subject of this painting comes from a 10th-century text. It tells of a young nobleman’s journey into the lonely countryside, far from the capital city of Heian-kyō (Kyoto). There he came upon a small stream, the banks of which were covered with blooming irises, on which the artist has chosen to focus our attention. While viewing the beautiful flowers the nobleman composed a poem:

I have a beloved wife,
Familiar as the skirt of a well-worn robe,
And so this distant journeying
Fills my heart with grief.

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