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Painting of Arrowroot Vines with Thirty-six Poems Quoted from Wakan rōeishū

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Painting of Arrowroot Vines with Thirty-six Poems Quoted from Wakan rōeishū (Anthology of Japanese and Chinese Poems)
Painting Attributed to Hasegawa Sōya (1590-)
Calligraphy Attributed to Konoe Nobuhiro (1599-1649)
Edo Period (1615-1868), early 17th century
Six-fold screen, nk and color on gilded paper
Thirty-six poem cards; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper

Gracefully swaying arrowroot vines depicted here in autumnal decline were a popular subject for paintings on screens, especially when decorated with poem cards (shikishi), as in this case. Adhering to the ancient East Asian axium that poetry, calligraphy and painting are inseparable and equal, the Japanese since the ninth century decorated screens with paintings and poems, which were inscribed in fine calligraphy.

A screen that closely resembles this pieces, also representing arrowroot vines, is signed b Hasegawa Sōya, son of the leading sixteenth-century painter Hasegawa Tōhaku (1539-1610). It includes a crescent moon, suggesting that this screen too was once paired with a companion piece depicting the moon.

Three pairs of shikishi are pasted on each panel of the screeen; each pair is inscribed with a poem in Chinese at the right and a waka (thirty-one syllable Japanese-style poem) at the left. The poems in Chinese and Japanese share common themes, such as the four seasons, bamboo, pines, or clouds. The idiosyncratic style of calligraphy, with hooks at the end of strokes and the tall, elongated profile of the characters, is attributable to nobleman calligrapher Konoe Nobuhiro.

Purchase, several members of the Chairman’s Council Gifts, 2001 (2001.423)

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s permanent collection contains more than two million works of art from around the world. It opened its doors on February 20, 1872, housed in a building located at 681 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Under their guidance of John Taylor Johnston and George Palmer Putnam, the Met’s holdings, initially consisting of a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 mostly European paintings, quickly outgrew the available space. In 1873, occasioned by the Met’s purchase of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriot antiquities, the museum decamped from Fifth Avenue and took up residence at the Douglas Mansion on West 14th Street. However, these new accommodations were temporary; after negotiations with the city of New York, the Met acquired land on the east side of Central Park, where it built its permanent home, a red-brick Gothic Revival stone "mausoleum" designed by American architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mold. As of 2006, the Met measures almost a quarter mile long and occupies more than two million square feet, more than 20 times the size of the original 1880 building.

In 2007, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was ranked #17 on the AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture list.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1967. The interior was designated in 1977.

National Historic Register #86003556poems for sons

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Sheila Moon Reads From Joseph’s Son: A Collection of Poems Retelling the Life of Jesus of Nazareth [Vinyl Lp]


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