Rooster in the Snow

Roosters and Hens


In this painting, which was originally attached to a folding screen, the rooster’s robust and attractive form is depicted with sharp strokes of the brush. The signature reads, “Old Man Beito, eighty-one years of age” (Beito-ou hachi-jū issai). After losing his home in the great fire of 1788, Jakuchū moved to the Fukakusa area of Kyoto, where he lived in front of Seikihō-ji Temple. He continued his artistic activities, selling paintings for one to (the equivalent of 6 monme, or 22.5 grams of silver) of rice to support himself; hence the pseudonym, Beito-ou (lit. Old Man One To of Rice). Jakuchū was highly prolific during this period and most likely had an atelier with assistants. Moreover, we cannot overlook the superb ink painting technique he demonstrated during this period.

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