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posted on 07.07.09

UEMURA SHOEN  Flames (The Rokujo Woman)


1875-1949


Flames (1918)


(The Rokujo Woman)


Taisho era


Kakemono painted with colors on silk;


75 1/2 x 36".


 


In her beautiful costume, adorned with flowers and spider webs, Rokujo, a character from Gengi Mongatari, the immortal eleventh-century “novel of the shinning prince,” is tormented amidst the “flames” of jealousy.  Her body slightly bent, her ear cocked, she seems to be listening; her face takes on the impenetrable look of a wax mask.


 


Uemura Shoen’s work reveals classicizing effort in Japanese modern art.  She was one of the most sensitive Japanese women portraitists and knew how to penetrate the psychological spirit of her figures, which she took from both traditional iconography and daily life.   

“According to our laws for the protection of national monuments, the purpose of the National Museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit works of art as well as use such works to teach.”
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