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Exhibitions/ Art Object

Jurōjin Mounted on a White Deer

Sakai Ōho (Japanese, 1808–1841)
Edo period (1615–1868)
probably 1830s
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Image: 40 3/4 x 14 7/16 in. (103.5 x 36.7 cm) Overall with knobs: 76 3/8 x 21 7/16 in. (194 x 54.5 cm) Overall with mounting: 76 3/8 × 19 7/8 in. (194 × 50.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Fishbein-Bender Collection, Promised Gift of T. Richard Fishbein and Estelle P. Bender
Not on view
Like Fujurokuju, another of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune he closely resembles and with whom he is often confused, Jurōjin has an elongated forehead, symbolizing great wisdom. Both Jurōjin and Fukurokuju are frequently depicted with animal companions, either a crane or a deer, which, significantly, are also the two most commonly represented auspicious animals of the Rinpa canon. This hanging scroll painting demonstrates how the theme of Jurōjin was perpetuated by Rinpa artists of later generations. In Ōho’s version, Jurōjin is precariously mounted on an auspicious white deer while his boy attendant looks on. Sekka poses the sage in the costume of a Confucian scholar, holding a walking stick from which his fan dangles. Felicitous paintings of holymen, sages, and poetic immortals would remain a popular theme of Rinpa artists even into the modern period.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.