Hill # R-21

Heron and Reeds [left of a pair of Swallow and Heron], late 17th-early 18th century


Ink on silkexpand_more

Bequest of Louis W. Hill, Jr.expand_more

In this pair of paintings, birds are juxtaposed with plants: a swallow perches on the seedpod of a lotus plant, and a heron stands in water next to reeds. An established genre in China, bird-and-flower painting was introduced to Japan in the 1300s. The pairings carried symbolic meanings (for example, swallow and lotus signals summer; heron with reeds, autumn) and were considered auspicious.

Kano Tsunenobu led the Kano painting workshop after the death of his father, Naonobu (whose painting is also on display nearby). Like his father, Tsunenobu worked for the Tokugawa shogunate as the painter-in-service.

Heron and Reeds [left of a pair of Swallow and Heron]
Artist Life
1636 - 1713
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Hill # R-21