The tale of Genji. Genji monogatari. Legends and paintings.
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London: British Museum Press, 2001.
Mit zahlr. farb. Abb. Originalleinen mit Schutzumschlag. VII, 136 S.
Umschlag leicht berieben, sonst gutes Exemplar. - Unquestinobly one of the world's greatest literary masterpieces and the finest achievement of classic Japanese prose narrative, The Tale of Genji has provided endless inspiration for Japanese painters throughout the centuries. Widely held to be the first novel ever written, its story of the amorous adventures of the "shining prince" Genji and of the elaborate and highly ordered court culture of the Heian era was written by Murasaki Shikibu shortly after 1000 A.D., during a period of rich cultural flourishing. Presented here is an exquisite, complete, and beautifully preserved series of paintings illustrating the tale, bringing to life the events of this classic work. The fifty-four images-illustrating one chapter each-date from the mid-seventeenth century and were executed by an artist trained in the traditional Tosa school of painting. Surrounded by gilded clouds, these graceful paintings shimmer with uncommon beauty and delicacy. Their small dimensions (they measure just over five inches square) and lyrical colors call to mind the miniature illuminated manuscripts of medieval Europe. Roofs are entirely removed from houses to reveal small, doll-like figures within. Delicate flowers and plants suggest the seasons of the year. Miyeko Murase's introduction examines the paintings within the context of the history of Genji illustrations, providing insight into the evolution of the techniques and conventions employed by the artist. An overview of the tale that inspired them and of Murasaki Shikibu, its author, is also provided. Commentaries on each of the images describe the scene depicted and summarize, in brief, the key events from the tale. ISBN 9780807615003
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