ANONYMOUS Machi-eshi style, Edo Period, 1630s-1640s (2)

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Lot 212W
ANONYMOUS
Machi-eshi style, Edo Period, 1630s-1640s

Sold for £ 27,500 (US$ 35,647) inc. premium
ANONYMOUS
Machi-eshi style, Edo Period, 1630s-1640s
A six-panel folding screen (one of a former pair), ink, colours and moriage (built-up) gold leaf on paper, depicting places and festivals mainly in southern and eastern Kyoto; unsigned; with storage box. Overall: 170cm x 379cm (67in x 149¼in); image: 155cm x 362cm (61in x 142½in). (2).

Footnotes

  • 洛中洛外図屏風 無銘(町絵師様式) 六曲一隻 紙本金地着色 江戸時代(1630年代-1640年代)

    Provenance: a European private collection.

    This detailed painting with its many animated vignettes of life in Kyoto is the right-hand half of a pair of screens of the Rakuchu Rakugai (literally, 'Inside and outside Kyoto') type, depicting views in and around the imperial capital. The composition and selection of scenes conforms broadly to the pattern exemplified by a pair of screens in the Shokoji Temple, Toyama Prefecture, registered by the Japanese Government as a Juyo bunkazai (Important Cultural Property), and datable to the latter part of the Keicho era (1596-1615). As noted by leading Rakuchu rakugai authority Professor Matthew McKelway of Columbia University, the Shokoji screens are evenly divided between the western (left) and eastern (right) halves of the city, projected from around Aburanokoji-dori Avenue which runs along the foregrounds of both screens, as also seen in this example. Reading from right to left and top to bottom, the following are among the important places on the right-hand screen of the Shokoji pair listed by Professor McKelway and also present on this screen, together with additional locations identified from other sources:

    Panel 1: Hokoku (Toyokuni) Shrine, Sanjusangendo (with archery practice), Gojo-dori (part)
    Panel 2: Kiyomizudera Temple (part), Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall) of the Hokoji Temple, Gojo Bridge, Gojodori Avenue (part), Inabado Hall (Byodoji Temple), Gion Festival procession with yamaboko (floats with tall halberds) and boat-shaped floats
    Panel 3: Kiyomizudera Temple (part), Kabukiza Theatre, Teramachidori Avenue with more yamaboko and other festival floats, hung with tiger-skins and rugs
    Panel 4: Gion (Yasaka) Shrine, Sanjo Bridge, Sanjodori Avenue
    Panel 5: Imperial Palace (part), with an imperial carriage about to leave
    Panel 6: Nanzenji Temple, Kamo Shrine, Imperial Palace (part)

    Several features make it possible to date this screen with some precision. Fushimi Castle (demolished in 1623), for example, can be glimpsed on the Shokoji screens but is not depicted here. Professor McKelway points out that the imperial carriage leaving the palace suggests a date after Emperor Go-Mizuno-o's progress to Nijo Castle in 1626, while the Gion Shrine lacks its stone torii (archway) built in the 1640s. Foreign visitors, often seen in earlier screens, are absent, but the machiya residences in the foreground retain their lively opulence, suggesting that Kyoto, rather the new capital at Edo (Tokyo), remains the centre of national economic life.

    Reference: Matthew Philip McKelway, Capitalscapes: Folding Screens and Political Imagination in Late Medieval Kyoto, Honolulu, University of Hawai'i Press, 2006, figs. 2.2 and 7.4 and pp.186-7 and 234-5. Takeda Tsuneo (ed.), Nihon byobu-e shusei (Collected Japanese Screen Paintings), vol.11, Fuzokuga: Rakuchu rakugai (Genre Painting: Views of Kyoto), Tokyo, Kodansha, 1978, pl.46-47 (the Shokoji screens); compare also pl.20, 22, 27-9, 62-3 and 7.
Contacts
ANONYMOUS Machi-eshi style, Edo Period, 1630s-1640s (2)
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