The Zentner Collection - For the Finest in Asian Antiques

Antique Japanese Painting from The Tale of Genji

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Paintings: Pre 1900: Item # 1253363
The Zentner Collection
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5757 Horton Street
Emeryville, CA 94608

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Beautiful antique painting of a scene taken from the Japanese novel The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari), written by Murasaki Shikibu during the Heian period (794-1185 AD). The painting depicts chapter 4, in which Genji, 17 at the time, goes to visit his old wet-nurse, Koremitsu ,who had fallen ill. He notices some moonflowers growing in the adjacent yard, and he orders his servant to pick one. As his servant follows the order, a beautiful girl steps out of the neighboring house and offers him a fan, saying "It is an awkward flower to carry, so please lay it onto this fan." The servant carries the fan and flower back to Genji, who notices a poem written on the fan. Wondering who she might be, he instructs Koremitsu to investigate for him. He eventually learns who had written the poem and goes to meet her. Her name is Yugao, or Moonflower, and he immediately becomes infatuated with her. Skillfully painted with wonderful gold details, set behind glass and framed. 18th/19th century, Edo period (1615-1867) Size: (entire frame) 18.25" height, 15.75" width (painting only) 8.75" height, 7.5" width