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rantei kyokusui@—–’à‹È…
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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Ch: Lanting qushui. Lit. meandering stream and orchid pavilion. A painting theme which refers to a gathering held in 353 at the Orchid Pavilion (Jp: Rantei —–’à) in Guiji ‰ïŒm, Zhejiang Ÿ´], held by the famous Eastern Jin calligrapher Wang Xishi (Jp: *Ou Gishi ‰¤‹`”V, 321-79). In order to celebrate the annual -Spring Purification Festival (held on the third day of the third month), Wang Xishi invited 41 scholar-poets to engage in poetry and drinking while seated along the bank of a winding rivulet. Wang arranged for servants to float cups of wine down the stream, and those guests who had not yet written a poem before a cup had passed by were required to imbibe a penalty cup. From this event Wang assembled the poems of his friends and wrote his famous Lantingjixu (Jp: RANTEISHUUJO —–’àW˜ or Preface to the Orchid Pavilion Compilation), a melancholy discourse on the meaning of life. The theme was very popular in Chinese painting, and became revered by the Japanese. According to both the NIHONSHOKI “ú–{‘‹I and archaeological remains, a meandering stream built of stones was constructed in the southeast corner of the 8c Heijoukyuu •½é‹{, probably so that aristocrats could re-enact the meandering stream party kyokusui-no-en ‹È…‚̉ƒ. Such re-enactments continue today at various locations. For sinophile Japanese painters the theme was symbolic of refined scholarly pleasure. Paintings of rantei kyokusui typically feature a number of scholars seated beside a twisting stream. Notable paintings include works by Kanou Sansetsu Žë–ìŽRá (1589/90-1651; Zuishin-in S‰@, Kyoto), Nakayama Kouyou ’†ŽR‚—z (1717-80) and Yosa Buson —^ŽÓ•“‘º (1716-84, Tokyo National Museum).
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