Following a long period of strife and civil wars in the fifteenth century, the ancient political and cultural capital of Kyoto was restored to its earlier splendour in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This reconstruction is documented and lauded in screens such as these which, in their panoramic view, record with accuracy and detail the features of the city. Looking eastwards across the Kamo River towards the Higashimaya hills, the area beyond the river at the top of the screens is rakugai (without the city), while the area below is 'rakuchû' (within the city). The lower section of each screen illustrates the busy mercantile life of Kyoto, with the townspeople going about their business in stores and workshops. On the far left of the left screen is the Imperial Palace.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 271.
Place where the work was made
pair of six-panel screens (byobu); colour and gold on paper
a - right screen - River running across lower half of ; 125 x 369.8 cm; image
a - right screen - River running across lower half of ; 137 x 381.8 cm; screen
b - left screen - River running across upper half of s; 125 x 369.8 cm; image
b - left screen - River running across upper half of s; 137 x 381.8 cm; screen
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by Mr Kenneth Myer 1980
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Genre scenes at celebrated places of Kyoto, Kyoto National Museum, Kyoto, 21 Jul 1970–16 Aug 1970
Beauty and Desire in Edo period Japan, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 06 Jun 1998–09 Aug 1998
The art of Japanese screen painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 2004–06 Feb 2005
Genji - the world of the Shining Prince, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Dec 2008–15 Feb 2009
Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–13 Mar 2016
Referenced in 14 publications
Edmund Capon, The Connoisseur, 'Far Eastern Art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 22-29, London, May 1980, 29 (colour illus.).
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 271 (colour illus.). Two images are depicted on pg. 271. Image depicts part 1 and a detail of part 1 of the screen.
Jackie Menzies, AGNSW Collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 216 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies, The Australian Antique Collector, 'Recent Japanese Acquisitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 90-95, Chippendale, Jan 1981-Jun 1981, 90-1 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies., Art Gallery of New South Wales collection series 2, 'Japanese, Edo period: Views in and around Kyoto', Sydney, 1982, colour illus., illus.. fig.no. 1, fig.no. 2 detail, fig.no 3 detail.
Jackie Menzies, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Asian Art', pg. 85-103, Sydney, 1981, 95 (colour illus), 95 (illus.). cat.no. 18. The colour image is a detailed image of this work.
Margaret White, Passage, 'The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia', pg. 12, Singapore, Sep 2009, 12 (colour illus.).
Portrait of a Gallery, 'Asian Art', pg. 106-113, Sydney, 1984, 111 (colour illus.).
Nihon Byobu-e Shusei, Tokyo, 1978, 90-91 (illus.).
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The World of Samurai Culture', Sydney, 2003, 214-215 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 215 is a detail of this work.
Adventures in Asia. An education kit for the Asian gallery, Sydney, 2003, 10 (colour illus.), verso (illus.). card no.10; the colour illus. on card 10 is a detail of this work.
The many lives of Kenneth Myer, Melbourne, 2008, (colour illus.). sixth image between pages 464 and 465
Look, Sydney, Mar 2009, 41 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 41 is part b
Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Japanese Painting', pg. 53-69, Sydney, 1990, 53 (colour illus.).