Rooster in the Snow

Roosters and Hens


This pair of folding screens, onto which individual paintings have been pasted, shows roosters and hens in various poses. Their arching tails, painted with dark ink, seem to dance through the air. Jakuchū also skillfully depicted various types of feathers with quick strokes of his brush. With no background whatsoever, each rooster and hen is shown from the front or the side, either in motion or still. The dynamic gradations of ink that Jakuchū employed and the humorous expressions of the subjects are full of life.

The signature reads “Old Man Beito, eighty-two years of age” (Beito-ou hachi-jū ni sai), suggesting that Jakuchū painted these screens in the ninth year of the Kansei era (1797). However, the theory that he added one year to his age after turning 60 has found support in recent years. It is therefore possible that this painting was created a year or two before this date.

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