This sumptuous book takes as its subject the pair of magnificent picture-scrolls entitled "Song of Everlasting Sorrow" (Chogonka gakan) held in the Chester Beatty Library's Japanese collection. Created by the Kyoto Kano School master Sansetsu (1590-1651) in the early Edo period, the painting depicts the tragic love story of the Tang emperor Minghuang and his beloved concubine Yang Guifei, as told by the great Tang poet Bai Juyi in 806. Yang Guifei was one of the Four Beauties of ancient China and the beloved consort of Minghuang for many years. She was ultimately killed during the An Lushan Rebellion as the emperor was fleeing the capital because the guards blamed the rebellion on her powerful cousin and the rest of her family. This Chinese subject has had an intriguing history in Japan ever since it was first mentioned in the Tale of Genji and this spectacular book demonstrates how the Chogonka scrolls emerged from Sansetsu's long engagement with Chinese themes.
Publisher: Scala Publishers Ltd