Seven Gods of Good Fortune and Chinese Children

Kano Chikanobu Japanese

Not on view

In this screen, three of the seven gods of good fortune (Daikoku, Ebisu, and Hotei) and a group of Chinese children serve as visual references to wealth, prosperity, and abundance. Some of the children pull a flower cart (hana-guruma) laden with a bamboo basket overflowing with peonies (emblematic of riches and honor) and other flowers associated with good fortune. The figures display the artist’s awareness of Chinese traditions; in China the theme of One Hundred Boys was a popular and auspicious subject for painting, and in Japan the motif of karako (Tang-Dynasty Children) symbolized longevity and health for offspring. The elegant fusion of ink and colors and the tight spatial composition mark an accomplished Kano-studio product.

Seven Gods of Good Fortune and Chinese Children, Kano Chikanobu (Japanese, 1660–1728), Six-panel folding screen; ink, color, and gilt on paper; Reverse side: ink, color, and gold on paper, Japan

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