Bird on Camellia Branch

Accession Number

Bird on Camellia Branch

Nishiyama Kan'ei

Object Creation Date
2nd half of 19th century

Medium & Support
ink and color on paper

4 3/16 in x 17 1/2 in (10.7 cm x 44.5 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 is a single camellia branch that points upward. It starts from the bottom of the painting and ends at the top. There are many twigs that jut branch out from the main branch that have leaves and flowers growing from them. There is a single bird sitting on the branch. There is a seal 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)
branches (plant components)

& Author Notes

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