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: Scenes from the life of the Ming Huang Emperor and Yang Guifei (one of a pair with F1901.21) F1901.20-21: Scenes from the life of the Ming Huang Emperor and Yang Guifei (one of a pair with F1901.21)

one of pair: 1290

Scenes from the life of the Ming Huang Emperor and Yang Guifei (one of a pair with F1901.21)

Screen (six-panel)
Artist: Kano Mitsunobu (ca. 1565-1608)
Historical period(s)
Momoyama period, late 16th-early 17th century
Kano School
Ink, color and gold on paper
H x W: 173.6 x 381.8 cm (68 3/8 x 150 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
The scenes on these screens are based on a Chinese poem, "Song of Everlasting Sorrow," by Bo Juyi (772-846). The poem, which tells the tragic story of Tang dynasty emperor Ming Huang (Xuanzong) and his love for his concubine Yang Guifei, was known in Japan since the tenth century. The story is told in episodes beginning in the lower right corner of the left screen and moving in a circular, counterclockwise direction. At the top of the left screen, a party is held as the An Lushan rebellion begins; Yang Guifei perished in the uprising. In the upper right of the right screen, the emperor is alone after the uprising ends.

To 1901
Ernest Francisco Fenollosa (1853-1908), New York, NY, and Spring Hill, AL, to 1901 [1]

From 1901 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Ernest Francisco Fenollosa in 1901 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Screen List, S.I 42, L. 48, pg. 10, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Ernest Francisco Fenollosa (C.L. Freer source) (1853 - 1908)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
concubine, emperor, Japan, Momoyama period (1573 - 1615)
Collection(s) Area
Japanese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.