right screen Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Pictures of the floating world, which highlighted small groups or individual figures, drew on the conventions of earlier genre paintings, such as this lively rendering of the festive horse races held annually at the Kamo Shrine in Kyoto. Although the paintings depict the ritual races staged for the entertainment of the shrine gods, their true interest lies in the detailed illustration of individual spectators, from well-heeled aristocrats to commoners boisterously cheering on the jockeys. Micro-dramas unfold as people eat, drink, gossip, and even brawl. Comedy and intrigue, such as the theatrical unseating of the jockey in the right screen, provide points of entry into this otherwise visually overwhelming scene.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
TL41729.18
Title
Horse Racing at Kamo Shrine
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
screen, painting
Date
early to mid-17th century
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Period
Edo period, 1615-1868
Culture
Japanese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/340336
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions
each screen, painting proper: H. 150.6 × W. 360.4 cm (59 5/16 × 141 7/8 in.)
each screen, overall with mount: H. 165 × W. 375.4 cm (64 15/16 × 147 13/16 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
TL41729.18
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Commentary
Right screen: Kamigamo Shrine
Left screen: Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine
Publication History

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), pp. 28-29, figs. 11-13

Exhibition History

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/05/2020 - 07/18/2021

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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu