Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Baiitsu was born in the central city of Nagoya but worked in Kyoto, where he had a larger customer base and greater access to examples of original Chinese painting. Publicly, he inhabited a literati persona, establishing a name for himself as a connoisseur of Chinese poetry, tea, and antiquities. This set of four seasonal landscapes inspired by Chinese models is an early demonstration of his ability to synthesize conventional ink-painting motifs and techniques with an appealing use of color. In the summer painting (second from right), for example, Baiitsu uses a subtle mixture of dark green and ink to convey the heat and humidity that bears down on the tiny figure in the foreground. In the winter landscape, by contrast, the red robe of the gentleman riding a donkey into the mountains is the only patch of color, emphasizing the tranquility of the frozen scene.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Yamamoto Baiitsu, Japanese (Nagoya 1783 - 1856 Nagoya)
Landscapes of the Four Seasons
Work Type
hanging scroll, painting
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3610, University Teaching Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Set of four hanging scrolls; ink and color on silk
painting proper: H. 127.8 × W. 54.8 cm (50 5/16 × 21 9/16 in.)
overall mounting, including roller ends and suspension cord: H. 214.5 × W. 78 cm (84 7/16 × 30 11/16 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Exhibition History

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/14/2020 - 07/18/2021

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