Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fans and Stream

"Fans and Stream"
by Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828)

"The subject of fans floating in a stream (senmen nagashi) is said to have originated with an event that took place in Kyoto in which a fan belonging to one member of a shogunal procession was swept away by the wind and floated to the river below. The other members of the party found this accident so beautiful, that they too threw their fans down to the water."

What a story!

And what a painting,
done in the later years of this artist's career,
after he had become a monk,
and was emulating Ogata Kōrin,
a painter whom his daimyo clan
had collected

a collection
of beautiful accidents

This is one of the screens
from the St. Louis Art Museum
now on display
in Regenstein Hall at the Art Institute.


Anonymous marly said...

Yes, I'm back from a jaunt to the Carolinas and am popping up again...

Is this big? The dimensions look a little different from the sort of screen one sees these days.

But it has huge charm. Are there poems about fans floating on streams?

September 04, 2009  
Blogger chris miller said...

Each screen is 166.9 x 174.6 cm, which is about the same size as all the others in the exhibit - except that most of the others are 6 screens instead of 4.

The notes tell us that they used to be used as sliding doors.

Regarding poems about fans floating onto streams - we'd have to ask Lori Witzel.

September 06, 2009  
Anonymous marly said...

Wouldn't that be splendid, to have such doors?

September 09, 2009  

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