39.6 x 86.2cm
This delicately-painted hanging scroll depicts Japanese courtiers watching a trio of aristocratic ladies making a snowman on a moonlit winter's night. The scene illustrates a chapter from the 11th -century masterpiece of romantic fiction, the Tale of Genji, one of the great classics of Japanese literature. The painting offers an absorbing and intimate evocation of Japanese court life, with its fine depiction of the lavish costumes and long hair of the ladies. It also conveys the abiding Japanese love of nature in its evocation of the crisp, melancholy air of a winter evening. Close inspection reveals superb attention to detail, as demonstrated by the minutely-painted mandarin ducks and the cracked ice on the surface of the nearby pond. Pictorial representation of literary works is one of the most important aspects of Japanese art, and the highly influential Tale of Genji was a favourite subject for Japanese artists from the 12th century onwards.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2004.
Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2005 2005, 2005, 27 (colour illus.).
'The Tale of Genji' by Ann MacArthur, pg. 13., Look Feb 2008, Feb 2008, 13 (colour illus.).
Khanh Trinh (Editor), Genji - the world of the Shining Prince, Sydney, 2008, 16-17 (colour illus.). fig.6
Art speaks Japanese: Japanese language education kit from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2007, 2007, colour illus.. card no. 05
Encounters and conversations: The painted worlds of legendary and fabled people (Deai to katarai - koji jinbutsu to monogatari-e), Suntory Art Museum, 05 Sep 2001–22 Oct 2001.