Cranes under a Pine Tree

Accession Number

Cranes under a Pine Tree

Nishiyama Kan'ei

Object Creation Date
2nd half of 19th century

Medium & Support
ink and color on paper

44 1/2 in x 14 15/16 in (113 cm x 38 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Subject matter
Nishiyama Kan'ai is "a skillful painter of landscapes and kachōga."

Roberts, Laurance Page, and John M. Rosenfield. A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer. Weatherhill, 2000.

"Japanese art has a rich tradition in the depiction of flora and fauna. Until the 17thcentury powerful and myth-like creatures such as dragons, phoenixes, lion dogs, birds of prey and tigers were portrayed as aggressive. This changed however when the influence of the samurai subsided and urban culture began to develop. Rich merchants sought refinement and a sympathetic style and in the artistic rendition of nature docile animals in subtle well-balanced compositions emerged. Flowers and birds became popular subjects, not only for their esthetic beauty but for their symbolic significance as well.
The literal meaning of the Japanese word kachō-ga is ‘images of flowers and birds’. Richly coloured flowers and birds are the focal point of this exhibition that illustrates the origin and development of this decorative genre. Colourful plants and animals embellish the screens, scrolls, albums, illustrated books, fan-shaped prints and graphs dating back to the 18th and 20th century."

“Kachō-Ga. The Poetry of Japanese Nature.” Sieboldhuis, 13 Feb. 2019,ōga-de-poëzie-van-de-japanse-natuur.

Physical Description
There are two cranes standing next to each other below a pine tree. One has its head up looking into the distance, while the other has its head pointed down to the ground. Only a corner of the trunk belonging to the tree is shown to the right of the cranes and another small corner of a branch with needles is shown above the cranes in the top left corner of the painting. There are two seals, on in the top right corner and the other in the bottom right corner of the painting.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
birds (motifs)

2 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted