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Pavilion in a Beautiful Field (Shuyado)
Japan; Muromachi period (1392-1573), 15th century
Hanging scroll; Ink and slight color on paper
Image only, H. 28 1/4 in. (71.8 cm); W. 11 3/4 in. (29.8 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The combination of a long vertical format, a monochromatic landscape, and the two poems of this15th-century painting characterizes a type of Chinese-style ink paintings known as a "poem-picture scroll" (shigajiku), which united word and image. The union of literature and painting found in these scrolls reflects the interest in Chinese writing and philosophy that prevailed in Japanese Zen temples at the time. The three-point perspective and asymmetrical composition used in this landscape derive from Chinese traditions as well. A thatched hut set against the budding spring trees on the banks of a lake fills the foreground. River banks and the foothills of a mountain are found on the other side, both scenes are viewed from above. A mountainside path leads the viewer into the middle ground of the painting, which is depicted at eye level. Towering mountains, a waterfall, and distant views of the other side of the lake are shown in the background, which is viewed from below.
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