Visiting a Friend in Autumn

Okada Beisanjin Japanese

Edo period (1615–1868)

Not on view

The water swirls beneath the pilings of the house on the river,
the clouds encircle the mountainsides,
on every branch the red leaves of autumn,
the wooden gate opens to the guests.

Beisanjin's poem and painting

Active in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Beisanjin created spirited works that made a colorful contribution to the late phase of Nanga painting. A rice merchant by trade, Beisanjin associated with the sophisticated aesthetes of Osaka's literati circles, which inspired him to cultivate his avocation of painting. His brusque and seemingly naive brushwork has a certain power that captures the vivacious spirit of Osaka, a flourishing center of commerce and finance. Tanomura Chikuden (1777–1835) wrote that Beisanjin's paintings "are not what one could call technically accomplished, but he made pictures that are like a sudden revelation of nature's meaning within the heart."

Visiting a Friend in Autumn, Okada Beisanjin (Japanese, 1744–1820), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, Japan

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