Birds on Camellia Branch

Accession Number
1990/1.207

Title
Birds on Camellia Branch

Artist(s)
Nishiyama Kan'ei

Object Creation Date
2nd half of 19th century

Medium & Support
ink and color on paper

Dimensions
( )

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, www.sieboldhuis.org/en/exhibitions/kachōga-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; the leaves have a presence in the painting because of their size and their detail. There is a single bird sitting on the branch. There is a seal and signature in the bottom left corner of the painting.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Birds
birds (motifs)
branches (plant components)
sketches

1 Related Resource

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

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted