Uji Bridge and Willows

Historical period(s)
Momoyama period, 1573-1615
Ink, color, and gold on paper
H x W (each): 146.3 x 325.2 cm (57 5/8 x 128 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Screens (six-panel)

bridge, Japan, Momoyama period (1573 - 1615), willow tree
Provenance research underway.

The broad form of a bridge rendered in gold leaf links this pair of screens. Willows budding into leaf and touched by a light breeze are illuminated by a silvery moon. The flowing river is rendered as a stylized pattern of waves beneath the bridge and the hovering golden clouds. A close relationship to the art of lacquer decoration, which in Japan is dominated by silver and gold, is suggested by the brilliant and extensive use of gold in this painting.

This image represents the bridge at Uji, a famous place southeast of Kyoto that has a long tradition of historic and literary associations. Uji was the setting for the final ten chapters of The Tale of Genji, written by the court lady Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century. Uji also was associated with Buddhist beliefs in salvation.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton. Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 32, pp. 76-77.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.