Twelve Kacho

Artist: Ogata Gekkō 尾形月耕 (1859-1920)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, 1899
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 23.8 x 30.2 cm (9 3/8 x 11 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Robert O. Muller Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

horse, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), monkey, Robert O. Muller collection
Provenance research underway.

Gekko postulates a delightful encounter between a trained monkey and a painted image of a horse. The monkey, a performer in a New Year's entertainment usually offered in shrines, confronts a painted horse on a votive plaque. Bearing a staff affixed with paper streamers, Gekko's monkey parodies a Shinto ritual gesture for purifying space. Paintings of heightened verisimilitude were sometimes thought to have a magical power that could transform the image into reality, and legends exist about such horses galloping off the wooden plaques.

Published References
  • Charlotte Dumas. "Het paard in de kalebas." The Horse in the Gourd. Leiden, Netherlands. p. 45.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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