Mandarin ducks

Artist: Unkoku Toetsu (active late 17th-early 18th century)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, late 17th-early 18th century
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 111.3 x 43 cm (43 13/16 x 16 15/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Anne Hollis Reese
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

duck, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kakemono, tree
Provenance research underway.

Mandarin ducks, which remain with one mate for life, are symbols of marital accord. A pair of mandarin ducks swimming on a nearly frozen surface often represents the twelfth month of the lunar year. This skillfully rendered work features the strong delineation and rendering of three-dimensional form that was introduced into Japanese painting from China. The artist was a descendant of the Unkoku school, which traced its artistic lineage to Sesshu (1420-1506), who was one of a few artists able to travel to China to study painting. The Unkoku school flourished in Yamaguchi, where Sesshu lived for a time.

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