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Fan Painting

Yosa Buson

Asian Art

MEDIUM Ink and colors on paper
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 18th century
    PERIOD Edo Period
    DIMENSIONS 6 11/16 x 18 1/2 in. (17 x 47 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Artist's seals: to be interpreted.
    SIGNATURE Signature: to be transcribed lower left
    INSCRIPTIONS Lengthy calligraphic inscription is section 40 of Basho's "Narrow Road to the Deep North: Fukui" That passage of the text reads: The distance to the city of Fukui was only three miles. Leaving the temple after supper, however, I had to walk along the darkening road with uncertain steps. There was in this city a poet named Tosai whom I had seen in Edo some ten years before. Not knowing whether he was already dead or still keeping his bare skin and bones, I went to see him, directed by a man who I happened to meet on the road. When I came upon a humble cottage in a back street, separated from other houses by a screen of moon-flowers and creepng gourdes and a thicket of cockscomb and goosefoot left to grow in front, I knew it was my friend's house. As I knock at the door, a sad looking woman peeped out and asked me whether I was a priest and where had I come from. She then told me that the master of the house had gone to a certain place in town, and that I had better see him there if I wanted to talk to him. By the look of this woman, I took her to be my friend's wife, and I felt not a little tickled, remembering a similar house and a similar story in an old book of tales. Finding my friend at last, I spent two nights with him. I left his house, however, on the third day, for I wanted to see the full moon of autumn at the port town of Tsuruga. Tosai decided to accompany me, and walked into the road in high spirits, with the tails of his kimono tucked up in a somewhat strange way. ( translation of passage from
    CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Yosa Buson (Japanese, 1716–1783). Fan Painting, 18th century. Ink and colors on paper, 6 11/16 x 18 1/2 in. (17 x 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 76.151.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 76.151.4_IMLS_PS3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 76.151.4_IMLS_PS3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    Yosa Buson (Japanese, 1716–1783). <em>Fan Painting</em>, 18th century. Ink and colors on paper, 6 11/16 x 18 1/2 in. (17 x 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 76.151.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 76.151.4_IMLS_PS3.jpg)