two lines of very large characters; light brown mount

Clouds and Dew, second half 18th century


“Yellow clouds become snow

White dew changes to frost”
雲黄化雪 露白為霜

Ryū Kōbi, also known as Tatsu Sōro or Tatsu Kimiyoshi, was a pupil of Ogyū Sorai (1666–1728), a poet and one of the most influential Confucian scholars of the Edo period. For 18 years from 1756, Kōbi held the post of scholar for the Hikone domain. With each line bookended by a character containing the radical for “rain” 雨, this enigmatic couplet has a pleasing symmetry. By making the character shiro 白 (“white”) smaller than the others, Kōbi introduces an element of variation that prevents composition of the poem from being rigid. The rhythmic thickening and thinning of the strokes, and the sticky texture of the ink, in which fine air bubbles remain trapped, provide another layer of interest.  

Clouds and Dew
Artist Life
1715 - 1792
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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two lines of very large characters; light brown mount