Photo © Photography: John Tsantes and Neil Greentree © Robert Feinberg
Gallery Text

Literati painting spread eastward from Kyoto to Edo, where it was shaped by the tastes of the shogunal capital and through the syncretic work of Tani Bunchō. Bunchō studied a wide range of classical Japanese, continental Asian, and Western works; he also adopted nature sketching techniques, selective realism, and an emphasis on ornamentalism from Maruyama-Shijō painting. This monumental painting of the sacred peak of Mount Fuji is a "true view"—an image rooted not in optical reality but in the subjective experience of a site. Bunchō likely based the work on his own encounter with the volcano. He takes pains to convey the specificity of the mountain’s contours and surrounding topography using modeling and subtle spatial recession, while at the same time allowing his inky brushwork to reveal the trace of his hand, a trademark of literati painters.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Tani Bunchō, Japanese (Edo 1763 - 1841)
Mount Fuji
Work Type
painting, hanging scroll
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3610, University Teaching Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
image only: 94 x 170.6 cm (37 x 67 3/16 in.)
with mount: 235 x 194 cm (92 1/2 x 76 3/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • seal: Tani Bunchō sha
  • inscription: Mizunoe-inu shōshun sha ni Suiun-sho'oku Bunchō
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Publication History

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), p. 97, cat. 38

Musée Cernuschi, Le Japon au fil des saisons: Collection Robert et Betsy Feinberg, exh. cat., Paris-Musées (Paris, 2014), pp. 126-129

Rachel Saunders, "Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection", Orientations, Orientations Magazine (Hong Kong, January/February 2020), vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 20-33, p. 30, fig. 10

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 17, fig. 4

Exhibition History

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 05/21/2013 - 07/15/2013; Miho Museum, 07/20/2013 - 08/18/2013; Tottori Prefectural Museum, 10/05/2013 - 11/10/2013

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

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at