Blind Men Appraising an Elephant

Artist: Tomioka Tessai 富岡鉄斎 (1836-1924)
Historical period(s)
Taisho era, 1921
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 144 × 42.4 cm (56 11/16 × 16 11/16 in)
Credit Line
The Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection, Gift of Mary and Cheney Cowles
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

blind person, elephant, Japan, Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection, Taisho era (1912 - 1926)
Provenance research underway.
Published References
  • "珍獣?霊獣?象が来た―ふしぎでめずらしい象の展覧会." Chinjū? reijū? zō ga kita—Fushigi de mezurashii zō no tenrankai. Exh. cat. Nagasaki. pl. 121.
  • "鉄斎大成第三巻." Tessai taisei dai sankan. Tokyo. pl. 161.
  • "鉄斎研究." Tessai kenkyū. vols. 1-65 Takarazuka, Hyogo, 1969-1983. vol. 19, pl. 17.
  • Impressions: The Journal of the Japanese Art Society of America. Lexington, MA, 2020. p. 59, fig. 20.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.