Past Exhibitions

Japanese Princesses as Seen in Narrative Handscrolls
February 21, 2017 - March 20, 2017

The figure of a noblewoman with long black hair, dressed in jūnihitoe (the ceremonial attire of a court lady, consisting of twelve layers of kimono worn one on top of another), evokes the glamour of the classical imperial court. During the Heian period (794–1185), beautiful aristocratic women were depicted against vivid, decorative backgrounds, as in the famous Tale of Genji handscroll (a National Treasure owned by the Tokugawa Art Museum and Gotoh Museum; not on view here). Such scrolls are still considered paragons of beauty and serve as models to this day for their compositional approach and attention to the tiniest details. As you see from this exhibition, their aesthetic tradition was also carried on in other narrative handscrolls portraying courtly romances in later eras. We invite you to immerse yourself in the opulent world inhabited by Japanese princesses.

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