A lover of birds, Japanese artist Ito Jakuchu (1716–1800) used a printing technique involving coloured stencils on a black background. His polychrome woodblock prints nd
Itō Jakuchū was a Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period, renowned for combining both traditional and modern experimental styles. Most of his illustrations feature birds and flowers with striking colors.
Many of Ito Jakuchu’s paintings concern traditionally Japanese subjects, particularly chickens and other birds…
A very common theme among his work is birds, in particular hens and roosters, though several of his more famous paintings depict cockatoos, parrots, and phoenixes.
One of his most ambitious endeavors, and therefore most famous works, is known as the “Pictures of the Colorful Realm of Living Beings” (動植綵絵, Dōshoku sai-e). Begun around 1757 and not finished until 1765, the Pictures are a set of twenty-seven hanging scrolls created as a personal offering to the Shōkoku-ji temple. In his deed of the gift, Jakuchu notes “in the hope that they will always be utilized as objects of solemn reference.”
Barnyard fowl of every variety were among Jakuchū ’s favorite subjects. Here, the heroic rooster directs his piercing gaze upward while standing on one foot, lifting his flamboyant tail; a hen, waiting for him to crow, admires his gallant figure. Jakuchū , who devoted his entire life exclusively to painting, was known as one of the “Three Eccentrics” (san kijin) of eighteenth-century Kyoto. He and his fellow Eccentrics, Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754–1799) and Soga Shōhaku (1730–1781), were also known for their flamboyant social lives.
Buy Ito Jakuchu prints in the shop.
Via: The Met.
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