Pavilions in a Mountain Landscape

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

Geography:
Made in Japan, Asia

Period:
Muromachi Period (1392-1573)

Date:
c. 1550

Medium:
Ink and color on paper; mounted as a pair of hanging scrolls

Dimensions:
Each: 60 x 38 inches (152.4 x 96.5 cm) Mount: 8 feet 6 inches x 45 inches (259.1 x 114.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1990-92-1a,b

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Henry P. McIlhenny Fund in memory of Frances P. McIlhenny, the Henry B. Keep Fund, and the East Asian Art Revolving Fund, 1990

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Label:
Now mounted as hanging scrolls, this pair of ink paintings was originally set into lacquered wood frames to serve as sliding doors in an upper-class residence or Buddhist temple of the sixteenth century. The unidentified artist was thoroughly trained in Chinese-style ink painting techniques. The theme of the retired scholar-recluse in his mountain retreat is dramatically expressed in this landscape, which reads from right to left. Beneath the sharp contours of the mountains a steep waterfall feeds a river below. The precarious bridge over the water leads to a Chinese-style pavilion among the cliffs, where a group of scholars sip tea or wine under the moonlight.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Now mounted as hanging scrolls, this pair of ink paintings were originally set into lacquered wood frames to serve as sliding doors in an upper-class Japanese residence or Buddhist temple of the sixteenth century. The artist is not known, but he was well trained in the Chinese-style ink painting techniques and themes that were popular in Japan at the time. The composition of the scene reads in the traditional manner from right to left across the two panels. The viewer's attention is thus immediately focused on the sharp contours of the mountain cliffs at the upper right and then gradually shifts downward with the movement of the waterfall to the frothy pool of water and narrow bridge. Emerging from behind the hills beyond the bridge is an elegant pavilion where a group of scholars are taking tea. A small grove of pines in the mist is punctuated by the pale moon above, as the scene that began so dramatically ends on a note of harmony and respite. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 41.