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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Culture: Japanese
Title: Ducks and Geese
Medium: Six-fold screen: ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions: 65 3/8 x 58 inches (166.1 x 147.3 cm)
Credit Line: George and Mary Rockwell Collection
Object Number: 88.002.205
Label Text: After Kano Tanyu (1602-1674) became the official painter to the shogun, he paved the way for his younger brothers Naonobu (1607-1650) and Yasunobu to also receive favored status as oku eshi (Painters of the Inner Court) in service to the Tokugawa shogunate, Japan's ruling family.

In their ink painting style Kano school artists followed Chinese Southern Song conventions as interpreted by the Japanese painter Sesshu (1420-1506) and his followers. Features of this conservative style include abbreviated pictorial elements juxtaposed with misty expanses, and the so-called "axe-cut" brush strokes that form the jagged rocks. The auspicious subject matter of this screen includes pairs of ducks and geese, emblems of marital bliss and fidelity, while the central rocky island in the waves might be a reference to the paradise of the isles of the immortals.



NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.