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Title

Calligraphy: (poem)


Artist

Ôtagaki RENGETSU

Japan

1791 - 1875


About

From an early age Rengetsu showed talents for poetry and swordsmanship. She married young, but as her husband died in 1823, and her four children also died at young ages, she entered the Buddhist priesthood and adopted the name Rengetsu, meaning Lotus Moon. She dedicated the rest of her life to writing poetry and making pottery, known as Rengetsu ware. This poem reads:

'The evening is fragrant with plum blossoms
Oh, this fragrance!
It penetrates the black sleeves of my nun's habit
Even though I have renounced the world,
I enjoy dressing myself in this aromatic midnight scent.'

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 282.


Details


Place where the work was made

Japan


Date

19th century


Media category

Calligraphy


Materials used

hanging scroll; ink on paper


Dimensions

29.4 x 41.0 cm image; 114.8 x 50.0 x 56.5 cm scroll


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1994


Location

Not on display


Accession number

19.1994


Artist information

Ôtagaki RENGETSU

Works in the collection

2


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 4 publications

Bibliography


Melanie Eastburn, Lucie Folan and Robin Maxwell, Black robe white mist: art of the Japanese Buddhist nun Rengetsu, Australia, 2007, 24 (colour illus.). cat.no.29

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 282 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 3 (illus.), 17.

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The aesthetic of transience', Sydney, 2003, 201 (colour illus.).