Title: The Poetess Ono no Komachi
Hanging scroll: ink and colors on silk
Dimensions: Image: 38 1/2 x 13 inches (97.8 x 33 cm)
Museum Associates Purchase Fund
This scroll is an example of a collaborative work between a master and his disciple. The artist Suzuki Kiitsu has painted the poetess Ono no Komachi, while his master Sakai Hoitsu has inscribed Komachi's poem on the upper section of the scroll. Hoitsu, son of a high-ranking daimyo from the Himeji castle, was a haiku poet and a leading Rimpa school artist. Kiitsu became a pupil of Hoitsu in 1813. This painting is close to Hoitsu's work in the pose of Komachi, her flowing hair, the patterns on her robes, and the refined treatment of color and ink outlines. Ono no Komachi, whose life is shrouded in mystery, is believed to have been active in the tenth century. She is a legendary figure, a woman of great beauty and passion, who has been dramatized in many genres. The poem in this scroll reads: Wretched that I am- A floating water weed Broken from its roots - If a stream should beckon, I would follow it, I think. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.