Hara Zaichū, Tiger, a hanging scroll painting

Edo period, AD 1775

'The tiger roars and the wind blows'

A tiger stands tensed on a steeply sloping mountainside. The base of a pine tree juts out from the slope, and its branches protrude back into the picture above the animal's head. The work is probably copied from a Chinese prototype of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), but displays characteristic Japanese dynamism. In the early part of his career Zaichū (1750-1837) was famous for producing works based on Chinese models. Dates in Japan until 1873 ran in a sixty-year repeating cycle, and the date on this work corresponds to either 1775 or 1835, but the form of the signature and, in particular, the seals suggest the earlier date.

Zaichū was taught by the famous and highly influential Maruyama ōkyo (1733-95), but he broke away from his teacher's style to found his own school, lying somewhere between the orthodox Kanō, Chinese literati and Maruyama styles. He had a long career and was regarded as a leading artist in the Kyoto world of painting.

The painting is inscribed 'Koshō fūsei' ('The tiger roars and the wind blows') and is signed 'Kinoto hitsuji fuyu Hara Chien ga' ('Painting by Hara Chien, winter of 1775'). The seals read 'Hara Chien in' ('Seal of Hara Chien') and 'Shichō'. Chien and Shichō were both art-names of Zaichū.

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Height: 1170.000 mm
Width: 475.000 mm

Museum number

Asia JA JP ADD1100 (1997.6-10.01)



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