Rooster in the Snow

Gourds and Peonies


The gourd is depicted only with outlines while the peony is depicted with gradated planes of ink. In this painting, Jakuchū took advantage of the possibilities inherent in ink painting, wielding his brush with great freedom.The inscription on the scroll depicting the gourds is by Keishū Dōrin of Tenryū-ji Temple, while the one by the peonies is by Musen Jōzen (Tangai), who was the head priest of Jikishi-an Temple in Saga. Both inscriptions interpret their respective subjects through a Zen context, relating the appearance of the gourd to a supernatural creature and the peonies and butterflies to the teachings of ancient philosophers.Because Musen died in the first year of the Genna era (1764), we may estimate that Jakuchū painted this pair of hanging scrolls in his mid-forties.

Copyright © Kyoto Art and Culture Project All Rights Reserved.