Tales and Legends in Japanese Art

June 21, 2003 – January 4, 2004

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Galleries 6 & 7 Floor Plan

Tales and legends from Japanese and Chinese sources are explored through Japanese paintings in a variety of formats, ranging from small fan-shaped illustrations and albums to hanging scrolls and long narrative handscrolls alternating text and illustration, a format that was exceptionally developed by Japanese artists. Subjects include Buddhist miracle stories and biographies; legends of Chinese origin, such as Tamamo no mae (the evil nine-tailed fox who assumed the form of beautiful women); the Japanese Legend of Oeyama (about the conquest of a monster who devoured young women); Zen Buddhist themes; and illustrations of classical court literature, such as The Tale of Genji.