Willow Bridge and Waterwheel

A work made of pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper.

Date:

c. 1650

Artist:

Hasegawa Soya
Japanese, 1590-1667

About this artwork

屏風1双12扇にわたり、金色の橋を1つ架けるという画題は、屏風の一典型で、これと同様のものが、数例、現存する。この屏風の景観とする宇治は、古来より精神的に意味深い地であり、古都である奈良と京都を結ぶ要衝の地であった。

江戸時代までに、名所を連想させる特定の事物が成立したが、この屏風に描かれる、反り橋、柳、月、車輪、霞、蛇籠は、古典の和歌から採られたそのような事物である。

この絵の画家・長谷川宗也は、大画構成の作品を開拓した長谷川等伯の息子である。この屏風の制作には、数々の貴重な材料が施されている。金・銀が、橋・月には箔として押され、霞には正方形の切箔や砂子として撒かれ、流水には描線として描かれている。蛇籠、水車には、胡粉の盛上げに金泥を塗って仕上げられ、効果を生み出している。橋には、金箔が斜めに押され、橋の反りを際立たせており、極めて珍しい特徴である。

The gold bridge spanning the twelve panels of this pair is a quintessential folding screen subject, and several versions of this design exist. The location pictured is Uji, an area of great spiritual significance and a link between the ancient cities of Nara and Kyoto. By the Edo period (1615–1868), certain elements were sufficient to evoke the famous site: the curved bridge, willows, moon, waterwheel, trailing mist, and rock-filled baskets are all elements taken from classical poetry.
The artist Hasegawa Soya was the son of Hasegawa Tohaku (1539–1610), an innovator in producing dynamic large-format works. An impressive amount of precious materials went into the fabrication of this pair. Gold and silver were used in leaf form on the bridge and moon, as cut squares and dust in the clouds, and as paint for the lines of the current. Gold paint has also been used over oyster-shell-white pigment (gofun) to create a raised effect in the baskets and the waterwheel. In addition, the application of the gold leaf diagonally to accentuate the curve of the bridge is a rare feature.

Currently Off View

Asian Art

Artist

Hasegawa Sôya

Title

Willow Bridge and Waterwheel

Origin

Japan

Date

1645–1655

Medium

Pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper

Dimensions

Each 175 x 376 cm

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham and Frederick W. Renshaw endowments

Reference Number

2002.365.1-2

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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