Rooster in the Snow

Snake-gourds and Insects


The combination of snake-gourds and insects is often found in the Chinese painting categories “grasses and insects” (Jp. Sōchū-ga) as well as “vegetables” (Jp. Sosai-zu). In this painting, which depicts various insects gathering around the slender gourds, the careful attention to detail suggests Jakuchū’s attachment to and the wonder he found in nature. Although the gourds and insects seem to blend together, one may discern a total of 11 different creatures upon close inspection.The lord of the Nagashima domain in the Ise region, Mashiyama Sessai, who studied natural history and created picture albums containing realistic depictions of insects, had this painting in his collection and it was one of his favorites. It is also interesting to note that this painting was copied by Tomioka Tessai.

Copyright © Kyoto Art and Culture Project All Rights Reserved.