Tosa Mitsunari, Monk Saigyō, a hanging scroll painting


Tosa Mitsunari, Monk Saigyō, a

Detail: signature and seals

Detail: signature and seals


Height: 961.000 mm
Width: 391.000 mm

Asia JA JP 113 (1881.12-10.0204)


'This Japanese scroll painting refers back in time to the Heian period some 500 years earlier, and has a timeless quality. This shows a very different kind of gateway from the Egyptian false door. It is a simple gateway in a garden wall. A spatial illusion is created through a projection of the geometry of the boundary fence and the building. The floating clouds overlay this space and create atmosphere.

There is a beautiful dialogue between the world beyond the gate, inhabited by the Buddhist monk, and the finely drawn interior situated beyond. There is a strong sense of events taking place just out of sight in the room. The delicate strings of a partly-seen musical instrument evoke the very sounds, and the mood of the scene is further established by the pervading moonlight.'
John Maine 2002

On display: Room 69a