Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information

Collection

All

Search

Asian art

View More:


Title

Tartars hunting

circa 1550


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

Japan's relationship with Chinese culture has always been a complex one of absorption, transmutation or rejection. The tensions inherent in the Japanese synthesis of China are evident in this rare and important screen. It illustrates a Chinese subject and technique, and a Japanese sense of space and empathy with nature. The scene, realised with orthodox Chinese brushwork, is a depiction of Tartars hunting, a popular Chinese subject from the thirteenth century. The Chinese both admired and feared the hunting and military skills of the fierce nomadic Tartars with whom they were frequently at war. The eye is drawn to the dense mass of figures in the upper left, typical of such scenes. This group is undoubtedly a representation of the infamous incident when a Hiongnu Tartar chieftain captured a beautiful Chinese lady and carried her off to Mongolia in 195 CE. She bore him two children and was deeply happy. When her family reclaimed her, forcing her from her husband and children, she composed poignant verses which have since become Chinese classics.

'Asian Art', AGNSW Collections, 1994, pg. 214.


Details


Other Title

Hunting scene before the Emperor of Mongolia


Place where the work was made

Japan


Date

circa 1550


Media category

Painting


Materials used

single six-panel screen; colours on paper


Dimensions

141.0 x 337.7 cm image; 154 x 348.6 cm screen


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Paul Haefliger 1982


Location

Not on display


Accession number

220.1982



Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Christine France, Art and Australia (Vol. 37, No. 1), 'A Matter of Taste', pg. 75 - 81., Sydney, 1999, 78 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, AGNSW Collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 214 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The World of Samurai Culture', Sydney, 2003, 212 (colour illus.).