Artist: Ozawa Nankoku (1844 -?)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, late 19th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 97 x 72.4 cm (38 3/16 x 28 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

crane, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912)

To 1897
Rufus E. Moore (1840 - 1918), New York to 1897 [1]

From 1897 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Rufus E. Moore in 1897 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Kakemono Reserved List, pg. 1, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Rufus E. Moore (C.L. Freer source) 1840-1918
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


A young Japanese crane preens as he steps through a field of ripe rice. Against the autumnal colors of the plants, the crane is portrayed in dramatically large scale, seeming almost to emerge from the painting.   

The artist Ozawa Nankoku studied painting with Okamoto Shuki (1807-1862), who specialized in flower-and-bird painting in Chinese-inspired styles. In this work, however, Nankoku takes an independent and modern approach to a traditional subject. Instead of following the conventional formulas of meticulous brush techniques and formulaic compositional arrangement that usually characterize flower-and-bird subjects, Nankoku has placed the bird in a stark, natural setting and delineated the features of the crane in a strikingly realistic style. Nankoku's painting rejects idealism to portray the image of a living crane. According to a note in the acquisition files of Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), Nankoku was still living when Freer purchased this painting in 1897.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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