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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Name-CRT: Japanese
Title: Bird on a Gardenia Branch
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1500
Creation End Date: 1599
Creation Date: Muromachi period, 16th century
Creation Place: Japan
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: ink on paper
Parts and Pieces: hanging scroll
Dimensions: 17 1/4 x 12 1/4 in. (44.0 x 31.0 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1967.004
Credit Line: Asia Society: Gift of Mrs. Charles Dreyfus
Context: Chinese-style ink painting, which was first introduced to Japan during the Kamakura period (1185-1333), had a profound impact on the art of the Muromachi period (1392-1568). The history of painting during that period is marked by the spread of Chinese techniques and themes from the temples affiliated with Zen Buddhism--where such works were often used in meditative or ritual practices--to the studios of professional painters who were not necessarily associated with a religious institution and who had various patrons. In the 15th century, ink painting gained a cultural cachet as it moved out of the religious context and acquired a wider audience.
This painting of a Bird on a Gardenia Branch illustrates one tradition of ink painting popular in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. A small bird is shown singing while perched on the branch of a flowering tree; some of the gardenias have bloomed while others are still buds. A pale wash of ink delicately shapes the bird's head; areas of wet (dark black) ink define the bird's tail and certain areas on its wings. The interest in immediately and intimately capturing a small slice of nature while still suggesting the inevitability of growth and change is evident in this painting, and illustrates the continuing influence of Chinese aesthetics on the art of the Muromachi period.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1967.004
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, Asia Society
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