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    Sale 2266

    Japanese and Korean Art

    17 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 55

    Anonymous (18th Century)

    Scenes from The Tale of Genji

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Anonymous (18th Century)
    Scenes from The Tale of Genji
    Pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, gold and gold leaf on paper
    61¾ x 141in. (157 x 358cm.) each (2)


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    The Tale of Genji is a long, romantic novel in fifty-four chapters, written about the year 1000 by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting to the empress. It is set in the tenth century, Japan's golden age, when great wealth and power were concentrated in the hands of a small group of highly cultivated aristocrats. Scenes from the novel are recurring themes in Japanese art, for there has rarely been a time when the educated elite was not nostalgic for the charms of Prince Genji, the amorous hero.

    Here, ten scenes from the tale, five per screen, are selected from chapters 1 (right screen, upper right corner) through 45 (left screen, lower left corner).