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painting / hanging scroll

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Painting, hanging scroll. Brown shrike on leafless tree-trunk; with autumn plants (green ivy, red lacquer-tree leaves, burnets, and daisies) below; pampas-grasses in mist in background. Ink and colours on silk. Signed and sealed.

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1830-1866
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 121.5 centimetres
    • Width: 51 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Koson Sanshin utsusu
      • Inscription Translation

        Painted by Koson Sanshin
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Sanshin Shin in
      • Inscription Translation

        Seal of Sanshin Shin
  • Curator's comments

    Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan Vol 3

    A shrike is shown resting on the bare branch of a tree that has lost its leaves, while beneath the tree grows a profusion of autumn flowers and grasses, the whole presenting an atmospheric evocation of late autumn. The scroll's stylishness is typical of Ikeda Koson, a Rinpa artist of the late Edo period. The forms and organization of the bare tree, with its overlapping, twisting curves, are of a kind not often found in the flower-and-bird pictures of the Rinpa, while the brushwork, reminiscent of the 'mokkotsu' technique (relying on ink wash without outlines) used in ink monochromes, differs from the characteristic 'tarashi-komi' method of this school, which drops brown and green into the wet Chinese ink; to form complex patterns. However, the plants in the lower section of the picture, with the attractive contrast between the bright green of the ivy leaves and the red of the lacquer tree's autumn foliage, are pleasingly decorative, and the characteristic style of the Hoitsu school is fully apparent in the mingled hues of the leaves, which make full use of 'tarashi-komi'. The burnets, daisies, 'susuki' (Japanese pampas) fronds, and other wild flowers in the thicket add a lively variety to the work. The colorful, clear-cut treatment of the flowers in the foreground gives way, in the pampas fronds toward the rear, to a pale ink wash reminiscent of the 'sumi-e' ink painting - almost as though the pale ink mist brushed in the sky above has crept down to earth. The two small birds flying low in the sky at the lower left are also done in thin ink; together with the 'susuki' they conjure up an atmosphere of fantasy reminiscent of a shadow-picture.'810. Korin School'
    'Painted by Ko-son. Signed Koson Sanshin.'
    'by Ikeda Koson' (unattributed annotations in the specially interleaved Japanese Study Room copy of Anderson 1886)


  • Bibliography

    • Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan Vol 3 39 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    The collection of over 2,000 Japanese and Chinese paintings assembled by Prof. William Anderson during his residency in Japan, 1873-1880, was acquired by the Museum in 1881. The items were not listed in the register, but rather were published separately as the 'Descriptive and Historical Catalogue of a Collection of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in the British Museum' (Longmans & Co, 1886).

  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Jap.Ptg.1358 (Japanese Painting Number)
COMPASS Title: Ikeda Koson, Shrike and Autumn Plants, a hanging scroll painting


COMPASS Title: Ikeda Koson, Shrike and Autumn Plants, a hanging scroll painting

Image description



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Object reference number: JCF725

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