The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sunday, January 27, 2019
The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated at Metropolitan Museum of Art

This will be the first major loan exhibition in North America to focus on the artistic tradition inspired by Japan's most celebrated work of literature, The Tale of Genji. Covering the period from the eleventh century to the present, the exhibition will feature more than 120 works, including paintings, calligraphy, silk robes, lacquer wedding set items, a palanquin for the shogun's bride, and popular art such as ukiyo-e prints and modern manga.

Image: The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated, Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

This will be the first major loan exhibition in North America to focus on the artistic tradition inspired by Japan's most celebrated work of literature, The Tale of Genji. Written by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting in the early eleventh-century imperial court, and often referred to as the world's first psychological novel, the tale recounts the amorous escapades of the "Shining Prince" Genji and introduces some of the most iconic female characters in the history of Japanese literature.

 

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated, Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Covering the period from the eleventh century to the present, the exhibition will feature more than 120 works, including paintings, calligraphy, silk robes, lacquer wedding set items, a palanquin for the shogun's bride, and popular art such as ukiyo-e prints and modern manga. Highlights include two National Treasures and several works recognized as Important Cultural Properties. For the first time ever outside Japan, rare works will be on view from Ishiyamadera Temple—where, according to legend, Shikibu started writing the tale.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Japan Foundation, with the cooperation of the Tokyo National Museum and Ishiyamadera Temple.

 

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

5 March - 16 June, 2019

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