Hanging scroll: ink on paper
Dimensions: Image: 51 7/8 x 7 1/8 inches (131.8 x 18.1 cm)
George and Mary Rockwell Collection
Object Number: 91.071.001
Ike Taiga, known for his eccentric lifestyle and the free quality in his paintings, is credited along with Yosa Buson (1716–1784) with bringing Bunjinga, literati art based on Chinese tradition (also known as Nanga), to maturity in Japan. The orchid, one of the “Four Gentlemen” (orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and plum), is presented in this painting in a strikingly elongated and narrow Japanese format suitable for display in the tokonoma niche of a tea house. The brushstrokes are smooth and restrained, done with an evenly saturated brush. Highlights of the unique qualities of Taiga’s works here include the extended brushwork, the small, tight orchids with dark dots for emphasis, the forceful rigid base, and the overall feel of an impression rather than a representation of nature. ("Tradition, Transmission, and Transformation in East Asian Art," curated by Cornell PhD student Yuhua Ding under the supervision of Ellen Avril and presented at the Johnson Museum January 23-June 12, 2016)
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.