(Japanese, c. 1800-after 1857)
Hanging scroll; ink, color and gold leaf on silk
Overall: 140.2 x 68.2 cm (55 3/16 x 26 7/8 in.)
Kelvin Smith Fund 1998.178
This is the largest surviving painting by the artist.
This imposing image bears the signature and seal of Ōi, daughter of Katsushika Hokusai, the best known Japanese artist in the Western world. Ōi served in her father's studio as an assistant and then collaborator during the early 1800s, when Hokusai's popularity in Japan was at its zenith. The dazzling composition, design sense, and palette of colorful mineral pigments in this hanging scroll record her artistic powers at their finest.
The event pictured here comes from a 16th-century Chinese novel, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which enjoyed great popularity during the 18th and 19th centuries among educated Japanese society. Here Ōi portrayed the passage in which the legendary 3rd-century military leader Guanyu undergoes a bloodletting to remove poisons received from an arrow wound. During the operation, with his attendants cowering at the sight of his bloody arm, Guanyu remains focused on a game of go (similar to the Western game of chess) and—judging from the sumptuous food and drink in the background still life—looks forward to a satisfying meal.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.