Black Bird on a Branch

Accession Number

Black Bird on a Branch

Kanō Naonobu

Object Creation Date
1st half of 17th century

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink on paper

41 1/8 in x 14 1/2 in (104.46 cm x 36.83 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Williams, Austin, Texas

Subject matter
Painted by Kanō Naonobu, this painting utilizes negative space and expressive ink wash painting. Much of his work was commissioned by the Tokugawa shogunate and this piece can be assumed to be of the same type. The combination of a bird and bamboo here is a favored subject matter in Japanese ink painting called "bird and flower" painting ("kachôga"). Painters of Kanô school (the official painting school of the samurai class in the Momoyama and Edo periods) executed many paintings in this category.

Physical Description
Depicted in this painting is a black bird perched on a branch. The bird is painted in the center and slightly to the left. It is looking towards the bottom right of the scroll. The branch comes from the left side of the scroll. The scroll is framed with a brown and yellow silk border which has a cloud design.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Collection Area

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hanging scroll

3 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

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