Cranes, one of a pair

The crane in this painting, with wing up, faces proper left.

Artist: Itō Jakuchū 伊藤若冲 (1716-1800)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1775-1790
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 143.3 × 67.5 cm (56 7/16 × 26 9/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

crane, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kakemono
Provenance research underway.

The crane in this painting, with wing up, faces proper left.


1. (James T. Ulak, 8 October 1997) Neither image (also see F1997.25.2) is signed or dated but each is impressed with the square intaglio To Jokin-in seal and round relief Jakuchu koji seal.


From his sixtieth year (1776) Jakuchu was engaged in a series of projects that involved the erection of large ensembles of Buddhist stone sculptures. Evidence of this devotional activity is seen in the partially extant group of five-hundred rakan (arahats) statues placed on a hillside adjacent to Sekihoji, a Zen temple in Fukakusa just to the south of Kyoto. Jakuchu funded these projects through sale of his paintings and it is from this period until his death that the largest number of his ink paintings were produced.

Jakuchu's fascination with the diptych format extends to his work in the folding screen format of twelve joined panels. Jakuchu frequently eschewed a unified composition extending across the surface of a pair of screens and opted, instead for six pairs of compositionally linked images set on to a screen. This particular screen style was called oshi-e hari byobu (single panels painted then affixed to a folding screen format). In some instances, such paintings have been subsequently separated from their screen format and remounted as single paintings or as diptychs. 

Published References
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 146-147.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 318-319.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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