Image: 18 1/4 in. × 14 in. (46.3 × 35.5 cm)
Overall with mounting: 53 1/2 × 19 1/2 in. (135.9 × 49.5 cm)
Overall with knobs: 53 1/2 × 21 1/2 in. (135.9 × 54.6 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
Framed by the blossoms of a viburnum, this magpie is depicted with great attention to detail, reflecting a taste for the idealized naturalism characteristic of the imperial painting academy of China’s Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). Chinese paintings, treasured by Ashikaga shoguns of the fifteenth century, exerted a strong influence on Japanese artists of the Muromachi period, when Chinese culture also served as a model for the Zen priesthood and educated elite. Little is known about the artist, but a good number of academic-style bird-and-flower paintings feature his seal or have been attributed to his hand.
Marking: Seal: Genga
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art (Part One)," October 12, 1995–April 28, 1996.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art in Early Japan," 1999–2000.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds, Flowers, and Buddhist Paradise Imagery in Japanese Art," February 14, 2004–June 13, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds in the Art of Japan," February 2, 2013–July 28, 2013.