Small Bird on a Crepe Myrtle Branch

Tsubaki Chinzan Japanese

Not on view

At a time when the ukiyo-e tradition was emphasizing scenes of contemporary life in the urban world, nanga or "southern pictures," inspired by Chinese painting of the Ming and Qing dynasties, offered a retreat into the unhurried world of nature and art. Tsubaki Chinzan shows us a formal yet abbreviated landscape, where just two softly rendered boughs of the myrtle tree open their delicate foliage to embrace the rising moon, partially obscured by clouds. The evening mood invites contemplation and quietude, in an intimate moment shared with a tiny bird who is nestled securely among the spring foliage.

Small Bird on a Crepe Myrtle Branch, Tsubaki Chinzan (Japanese, 1801–1854), Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, Japan

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