Magpies and HibiscusArtist(s)Yamamoto BaiitsuArtist NationalityJapanese (culture or style)Object Creation Date1831Medium & SupportHanging scroll, ink and light color on paperDimensions
67 5/16 in. x 30 11/16 in. ( 170.9 cm x 77.9 cm )Credit LineMuseum purchase made possible by a gift from Helmut SternLabel copy
As the son of a Nagoya woodcarver, Yamamoto Baiitsu grew up exposed to art-making. His destiny was forever altered when Kamiya Ten’yû, a wealthy merchant and collector of Chinese painting, took him in as a disciple, along with another Nagoya youth, Nakabayashi Chikutô (see no. 9 in this exhibition). Privileged by direct exposure to fine Yuan and Ming paintings as well as Chinese literati theory, Ten’yû’s pupils would become leading figures in Japanese literati painting of the early to mid-nineteenth century.
Baiitsu is among the most technically accomplished of the Japanese literati painters, perhaps a problem when the orthodox literati stance is to disdain “mere skill” in favor of the amateur’s more honest and naïve revelation of his own character. He is best known for exquisitely rendered bird-and-flower paintings. The broad handling of the forms in this work suggest that it is from an early phase in his career. The combination of “boneless” washes for the hibiscus with ink outline for the bamboo is striking.
Maribeth Graybill, for the exhibition "Japanese Visions of China,"
9/21/02 - 1/3/03Subject matter
Two magpies are perch in a scene of bamboo and hibiscus flowers.Physical Description
Two magpies rest among hibiscus flowers. “Boneless” washes for the hibiscus flowers are contrasted with ink outlines of bamboo.Primary Object Classification Painting Primary Object Typehanging scrollCollection AreaAsianRights
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flowers (plant components)
grass (plant material)
rock (inorganic material)