Geese Over a Beach

Artist: Maruyama Ōkyo 円山応挙 (1733-1795)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 18th century
Ink on paper
H x W: 176.7 x 372 cm (69 9/16 x 146 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 05: Feathered Ink

Screen (four-panel)

autumn, Edo period (1615 - 1868), goose, Japan, landscape

To 1898
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1898 [1]

From 1898 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1898 [2]

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


[1] Undated folder sheet note. See Original Screen and Panels List, S.I. 95, pg. 3, 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)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Bunkio Matsuki (C.L. Freer source) 1867-1940


In Japanese and Chinese painting and poetry, geese represent autumn. Their annual migrations also symbolize an unsettled existence. This painting was formerly mounted on four sliding doors set in tracks between two rooms.  This portrayal of two geese flying out to sea shows a dramatic and expansive realism that comes from the artist's familiarity with techniques that included some methods of depicting perspective and volume, which Okyo learned from studying European art.

Published References
  • Ann Arbor Art Association. Exhibition of Oriental and American Art: Under the Joint Auspices of the Alumni Memorial Committee and the Ann Arbor Art Association, on the Occasion of the Opening of the Alumni Memorial Hall, University of Michigan. Exh. cat. Ann Arbor and Detroit, May 11 - May 30, 1910. opposite p. 16.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica., 14th ed. New York. no. 2 on pl. 4.
  • Mayuyama Junkichi. Japanese Art in the West. Tokyo. pl. 269.
  • Gaston Migeon. Chefs-d'œuvre d'art japonais. Paris. pl. 13, no. 70.
  • Mary Ellen Hayward. The Influence of the Classical Oriental Tradition. vol. 14, no. 2 Chicago, Summer 1979. fig. 10.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 60, vol. 2: p. 172.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 20, fig. 25.
  • Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan. Boston. p. 26, fig. 22.
  • Ernest Francisco Fenollosa. The Collection of Mr. Charles L. Freer. vol. 1, no. 2 Detroit, November 1907. p. 60.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 102, fig. 68.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 136.
  • Wilfred B. Shaw. The Relation of Modern American Art to that of China and Japan, Demonstrated at the Recent Exhibition at Ann Arbor. vol. 18, no. 5 Syracuse, August 1910. p. 524.
  • Langdon Warner. The Freer Gift of Eastern Art to America. vol. 23, no. 8 New York, August. p. 593.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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