Arts Everyday Living: Ito Jakuchu—The Phoenix Rises


Old Pine Tree and White Phoenix, along with the 29 other silk scrolls of the Colorful Realm of Living Beings, is now showing at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  Ito Jakuchu (1715-1800) is the artist and the phoenix he depicted below represented a special creative challenge.  For according to Jakuchu:

“Flowers, birds, grasses, and insects each have their own innate spirit.  Only after one has actually determined the true nature of this spirit through observation should painting begin.  There is, however, no way to actually observe a phoenix’s resplendent plumage.  So it may be portrayed freely, with no hindrance to the imagination.”*


Ito Jakuchu, Old Pine Tree and White Phoenix, c. 1765-1766, Silk Scroll, Imperial Household Agency, Tokyo, Japan



*Quote of Jakuchu from Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Ito Jakuchu, National Gallery of Art/University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, 2012

See the blogs for April 9 and April 13, 2012 for more works of art from Colorful Realm of Living Beings.

The above images are used solely for educational purposes.

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