Pair of mid-size byôbu of a bridge over the Uji river 宇治川

Price:  18.000,00

A pair of exceptional high quality medium-size six-panel byôbu 屏風 (room divider) with an outstanding continuous painting on gold leaf of a bridge crossing the Uji river 宇治川 in southeast Kyôto with a waterwheel turning next to it and surrounded by willows 柳 (yanagi).

Under a moonlit sky, a golden bridge sweeps upward in a strong diagonal from the right screen to the left above the deep blue river with silver swirls. The three willows at the right, middle, and left have small, delicate leaves, which is a sign of spring. The impressive tree trunks are executed in a thick shiny layer of lacquer accentuated by sprinkled mother-of-pearl 螺鈿 (raden) in the curves, creating more depth.

The embankments are protected by four stone-filled baskets (three on the left screen and one on the right). In between the ones on the left, a waterwheel is turning in the stream. The waves created by this movement are extra emphasised by being heightened in gofun 胡粉, which is the refined powder of the itabo oyster (Ostrea denselamellosa).

The bridge itself is executed in glistening gold-leaf and flanked by gold-specked white railings in low relief.

The scene is shone upon by the glowing silver moon high in the sky and surrounded by gold-speckled clouds.

Paintings that combine willows with a bridge and waterwheel over the Uji river, are a view long celebrated in literary works such as The Tale of Genji, or associated with Buddhist beliefs in salvation. Paintings of the Uji Bridge decorated palaces by the 900s and remained popular for the next thousand years. With their contrast of large, dramatic forms and brilliant metallic shimmer, these screens represent the zenith of the decorative style of the Momoyama period. (From The Metropolitan Museum, New York).

The right screen is sealed in the lower right corner ‘Komeya Taizan’ 米屋泰山.

The panels are surrounded by two silk borders, a thin brown brocade one with a scrolling vine design, and a wide one with an alternated design of soft coral lotuses and light blue chrysanthemums. The screens are protected by a red lacquer frame.

Including a large original red lacquer wooden tomobako 供箱 (storage box) for both screens.

Total width together: 551.6 cm.
Total width single screen: 275.8 cm (2 x 47.1 cm, 4 x 45.4 cm), Height: 136.6 cm.

Period: Japan – Taishô period (1912-1926)

In an excellent condition with only minimal traces of age along the edges of the frame. Please look at the photos for a condition reference.

When shipped we will add a certificate of authenticity.
Price including insured shipping.

Ref. No. : B2045+B2046-1d


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