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Tartars playing polo and hunting, one of a pair
Historical Period: Momoyama period (1573-1615)
Object Name: Six panel folding screen
Materials: Ink, colors and gold on paper
Dimensions: H. 65 1/2 in x L. 137 in, H. 166.4 cm x L. 348 cm (image); H. 72 in x L. 143 3/4 in, H. 182.9 cm x L. 365.1 cm (overall)
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B69D18.b
On Display: No

Description

Label: Exotic equestrian sports captured the interest of Japanese warriors in the late 1500s, a time of heightened curiosity about foreigners and their customs. In this screen, the riders are Tatars (also known as Tartars), nomadic tribesman who lived north and west of China. A lively polo game occupies the center of the right screen, where mounted Tatars compete between decorated goal posts. In the left screen, excited hunters converge upon prey ranging from humble goats to exotic leopards. Gold clouds separate spectators, including aristocratic-looking figures in tented enclosures, from the main action. Observing the action from a vantage point in the mountains above the hunt is a figure that may be the Tatar ruler (top left corner of the left screen). The distinctive features and costumes of the Tatars appear to be based on Chinese models that include Ming dynasty Chinese paintings of the theme "Lady Wenji's Return to China" (Wenji Guihan). The Kano painter's achievement was to combine these borrowed elements in lively action scenes unfolding within a panoramic landscape.

More Information

Exhibition History: "Masterpieces of Screen Painting, Including the Celebrated Japanese Paintings from the Avery Brundage Collection. An Exhibition Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Fukui Fine Arts Museums", Fukui Fine Arts Museum, 11/14/1987 - 12/13/1987
"Japanese Paintings from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (Nikkei), Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (3/2/1995-4/9/1995), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (4/20/1995-5/9/1995), Takashimaya Grand Hall, Kyoto (6/30/1995-7/11/1995), Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama (8/2/1995-9/17/1995)
Label: Exotic equestrian sports captured the interest of Japanese warriors in the late 1500s, a time of heightened curiosity about foreigners and their customs. In this screen, the riders are Tatars (also known as Tartars), nomadic tribesman who lived north and west of China. A lively polo game occupies the center of the right screen, where mounted Tatars compete between decorated goal posts. In the left screen, excited hunters converge upon prey ranging from humble goats to exotic leopards. Gold clouds separate spectators, including aristocratic-looking figures in tented enclosures, from the main action. Observing the action from a vantage point in the mountains above the hunt is a figure that may be the Tatar ruler (top left corner of the left screen). The distinctive features and costumes of the Tatars appear to be based on Chinese models that include Ming dynasty Chinese paintings of the theme "Lady Wenji's Return to China" (Wenji Guihan). The Kano painter's achievement was to combine these borrowed elements in lively action scenes unfolding within a panoramic landscape.
Exhibition History: "Masterpieces of Screen Painting, Including the Celebrated Japanese Paintings from the Avery Brundage Collection. An Exhibition Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Fukui Fine Arts Museums", Fukui Fine Arts Museum, 11/14/1987 - 12/13/1987
"Japanese Paintings from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (Nikkei), Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (3/2/1995-4/9/1995), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (4/20/1995-5/9/1995), Takashimaya Grand Hall, Kyoto (6/30/1995-7/11/1995), Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama (8/2/1995-9/17/1995)