The painting depicted court musicians playing divine music called Bugaku. Bugaku is a Japanese court music accompanied by dancing. Here one of the players plays shen (a bamboo instrument first produced in China in 7th century) and the other one sounds a massive drum with mitsudomoe crest (three comma-shaped figures in a circle). Bugaku carries a ritualistic implication and is usually played at the start before dance performance begins. Bugaku purifies the stage. Painted with ink and pigments. Signed Kien and sealed.
Yanagisawa Kien (1704-1758) was a Japanese painter and calligrapher. Kien was one of the pioneers of Japanese literati painting (Nanga or Bunjinga). Kien studied at Kano school and later devoted himself to studying Chinese paintings and calligraphy of the Ming period (1368–1644). He mastered the skills of descriptive and sophisticated paintings that were particularly seen in Nagasaki school paintings. He also mastered the Sixteen Noble Accomplishments expected of a samurai, which included military arts, poetry and the tea ceremony.
There are some light stains and marks on the painting due to its great age, otherwise the piece is in good condition. The mounting is in fine condition with only insignificant light marks. The scroll wears ivory end, which can be replaced with different material one. Please inquire for this.
Painting : 13 5/8" x 35 1/2" (34.5cm × 90cm)
Scroll : 18 3/8" x 68 1/8" (46.5cm × 173cm)