The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Not on view
Hankō, son of Okada Beisanjin (1744–1820), grew up in the literati circle that gathered around his father. Having a livelihood as rice merchants, Hankō and his father could devote themselves to Confucian studies and, later in life, to the study of painting in the style of Chinese Ming and Qing masters. This casual, personal letter to a friend, written when Hankō was forty-nine, describes his painting activities and, in a typical literati gesture, offers a gift of flower arrangements in Chinese style, an accomplishment cultivated among literati. The amusing twist was that these were not actual flowers but Hankō's sketches in a charmingly free manner that reflects the spontaneous, personal quality espoused by Nanga painters.