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Genyu Yoshihashi
Item Number:A10723P
2013
H33 3/4 W27in
H85.5 W68.5cm
Printed book from Edo period, Silk

Tale of Genji
Sixty leaves of paintings illustrating famous scenes selected from each of the fifty-four chapters of Lady Murasaki’s romantic novel, the Genji monogatari ( Tale of Genji ), are combined with sixty leaves of accompanying text to form a single album.
The illustrations are by Tosa Mitsunori ( 1583 – 1638 ), while each leaf of text is by a different hand, altogether representing the calligraphy of sixty members of the imperial family and the court aristocracy,
Inheriting the style of Tosa Mitsuyoshi ( 1539-1613 ), who is reported to have been either his father or his teacher, Mitsunori is considered a master of miniature painting, for the execution of which it is said that he used a magnifying glass, a device newly imported from Europe. In the illustrations for this album, the delineation of details in areas such as the clothing patterns and the household furnishing is exquisitely delicate and minute. If there is a rather excessive display of craftsmanship, the paintings nevertheless preserve a tone of elegant refinement. The Genji monogatari has continued as a subject for Japanese painting from the twelfth century onwards. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, artists of the Tosa school painted many decorative illustrations that came to be used as a part of marriage dowries. With a cover that incorporates a woven design of cranes on damask and metal fittings in the shape of butterflies affixed in the four corners, this album has been bound in a fashion that would make it suitable to ornament the interior of a room.
About the Artist