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

For much of his life, Buson himself was a poet—it was only out of financial necessity that he began to paint as he got older. He practiced short-form haikai poetry (commonly known as haiku), and his paintings are accordingly rooted not in the literati language of classical Chinese poetry but in the abbreviated imagery of this domestic genre, which celebrates the minutiae of everyday life. The persona of the solitary traveler features in some of Buson’s most memorable poems and paintings, moving through landscapes characterized by intense attention to the details of season, climate, and time of day.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Yosa Buson, Japanese (Settsu 1716 - 1784)
Lone Traveler in Wintry Mountains
Work Type
painting, screen
c. 1770–75
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Two-panel folding screen; ink and gold on paper
image only: 64.7 x 86 cm (25 1/2 x 33 7/8 in.)
with mount: 77.5 x 100.4 cm (30 1/2 x 39 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • seal: square, intaglio: Sha Chōkō-in
  • seal: square, intaglio: Hatsuboku shokon
  • inscription: Shunsei Yahantei ni oite utsusu
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Originally tobukuro
Publication History

Kōno Motoaki, Landscape Screen by Yosa Buson, Kokka, Kokkasha, #1232, pp. 26-29

Sasaki Jōhei, ed., Buson zenshu, Kodansha Publisher (Tokyo, Japan, 1992), #246, p. 181

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), pp. 76-77, cat. 26

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. 27, fig. 7

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 56, fig. 43

Exhibition History

Traditions Unbound: Groundbreaking Painters from Eighteenth-Century Kyoto, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, 12/05/2005 - 02/26/2006

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

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