Peach Blossom Spring

Artist: Tani Bunchō 谷文晁 (1763-1840)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1800
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 143.3 x 65.3 cm (56 7/16 x 25 11/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Peach Blossom Spring, river, spring
Provenance research underway.

Tani Buncho was born in Edo, the son of the poet Tani Rokkoku, who served in the retinue of Lord Tayasu, a son of the eighth Tokugawa shogun. Like Hoitsu, Buncho studied a wide range of painting techniques and styles current at the time and he became an expert who recorded paintings and inscriptions in copies. Although he painted in individualistic styles, he is best known for his works in the Chinese-inspired Nanga mode; one of his teachers was Watanabe Gentai. This painting, which reflects Buncho's familiarity with Chinese paintings of the late Wu school, illustrates a famous Chinese poem by Tao Qian (365-427), in which he describes a fisherman who discovers a utopia inhabited by people who had escaped from warfare and oppression under the first Qin emperor (reigned 221-206 BCE). After the fisherman returned, he could not resist telling of his discovery, and the place was never found again. Tao's poem, which expresses the Chinese poet's ideal of retreat from the troubled world, became a frequent subject of Chinese painting.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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