family of cranes; rocks at R with white and red roses; bamboo fronds and rocks along bottom; large bamboo trees at L with peony blossoms; gold foil background

Cranes with Bamboo [left of a pair of Cranes with Pine and Bamboo], 18th-19th century

expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

From ancient times, cranes in Japan were said to live for a thousand years. They thus served as potent symbols of youthfulness and long life in both literature and art. In this pair of screens, the artist made cranes the primary motif and added some good luck imagery taken from nature. Pine trees, like cranes, signify youth and longevity; bamboo represents tenacity and uprightness; and the peony stands for good fortune. Yet this painting, with its blank gold-foil background, is really an emblem of good fortune rather than a depiction of the natural world. For example, cranes do not make their nests or roost in treetops but rather live on the ground, usually in marshes. The extremely common, age-old Japanese painting motif of cranes in pine treetops arose from a medieval conflation of cranes and storks.

Details
Title
Cranes with Bamboo [left of a pair of Cranes with Pine and Bamboo]
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.74.1
Catalogue Raisonne
Murase, Art through a Lifetime, no. 165
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.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

family of cranes; rocks at R with white and red roses; bamboo fronds and rocks along bottom; large bamboo trees at L with peony blossoms; gold foil background