delicate gray spider web in upper quadrant with fat gray spider at bottom suspended from thin web

Spider and Web, early 19th century

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A spider, suspended by a nearly invisible thread, makes a cautious descent from its web. Maruyama Ōshin’s painting, an exercise in precision and understatement, is as finely wrought as the creature’s creation itself. Ōshin was the adopted grandson and pupil of Maruyama Ōkyo 円山応挙 (1733–1795), who pioneered a style of naturalism influenced by Chinese and Western painting. He was a skilled colorist, and was known for his finely executed landscapes and depictions of figures, birds, and flowers. The subject of this painting may refer to a poem in the Chronicles of Japan attributed to Sotōri-hime 衣通姫, a concubine of Emperor Ingyō 允恭天皇 (412–453), who wrote of waiting for her lover to catch her in the night like a spider. Delicately rendered in ink on an otherwise untouched surface, this painting demonstrates Ōshin’s restrained touch and mastery of his chosen medium.

Details
Title
Spider and Web
Artist Life
1790 - 1838
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.36.5
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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delicate gray spider web in upper quadrant with fat gray spider at bottom suspended from thin web