Maker(s)
Artist: Soga Shohaku (1730-1781)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1760
Medium
Ink on paper mounted on wood core
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 182.3 x 277.5 cm (71 3/4 x 109 1/4 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Harold P. Stern Memorial Fund
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1995.18
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Screen (two-panel)

Keywords
donkey, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, landscape, scholar, waterfall, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

During the Edo period (1615-1868) no Japanese artist exceeded Shohaku in the ability to endow scenes of nature with an energy that seemed on the verge of exploding from the painting's two-dimensional surface.

The scene is an unusually powerful rendition of a standard Chinese subject: a scholar journeying to seek the company of kindred spirits in their mountain retreat. Here, a lone figure on a donkey crosses a bridge at the base of a waterfall. He is followed at a distance by a servant who travels on foot, carrying his master's lute.

Tiny human forms are overwhelmed by the majestic and portentous quality of nature-perhaps the true subject of this painting.

Published References
  • Impressions: The Journal of the Japanese Art Society of America. no. 39 Lexington, Massachusetts, 2018. p. 118.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 312-315.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.