This stunning example of Japanese screen design shows Okyo's expressive power as well as his meticulous observation of cranes and their behaviour. The artist is attuned to the subtle relationship among the adult and juvenile birds that congregate in the top [right] screen. In contrast, in the bottom [left] screen he captures the dynamic movements of three cranes that are about to land to join the others. The artist's power of observation can be seen in details such as the half-closed eye of the resting adult crane on the far right, and the crane stretching his neck skyward.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.234.
Place where the work was made
circa 1770-circa 1772
pair of six-fold screens; colour and gold leaf on paper
a - right screen - Eight cranes standing; 153 x 357 cm; image
a - right screen - Eight cranes standing; 169.5 x 373 cm; screen
b - left screen - Three cranes flying; 153 x 357 cm; image
b - left screen - Three cranes flying; 169.5 x 373 cm; screen
Signature & date
Signed l.l., in Japanese, ink [inscribed] "Maruyama Okyo [& artist's seal]". Not dated. [left screen]
Signed l.r., in Japanese, ink [inscribed] "Mayuyama Okyo [& artist's seal]". Not dated. [right screen]
Purchased with assistance from the Japanese Society of Sydney, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and The Sidney Myer Charity Trust 1981
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 3 publications
Jackie Menzies, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Asian Art', pg. 85-103, Sydney, 1981, 99 (colour illus.). cat.no. 29
Dômo - Australia living handbook, Sydney, 2000, 230 (illus.). Article by Chiaki Ajioka in Japanese about the AGNSW
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Edo Painting Schools', Sydney, 2003, 234-235 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 235 is a detail of this work.