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

The angled trunk of a large pine tree bisects the foreground of this painting. Together, the closely cropped perspective, dynamic brushwork, and scale-like bark produce the sensation of being encircled by a living entity. The bluish ink of the background indicates a nighttime setting, and moonlight bathes the lower branches and needle tips. Pine paintings are associated with wishes for long life, making them appropriate gifts for a birthday or the new year. But the moon can also be a symbol of Buddhist enlightenment; here, its light adds a spiritual dimension to the tree’s embrace.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Itō Jakuchū, Japanese (Kyoto 1716 - 1800)
Old Pine
Work Type
painting, hanging scroll
c. 1796
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3600, University Research Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
image only: 101.4 x 39.6 cm (39 15/16 x 15 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • seal: square, intaglio: Tō Jokin in
  • seal: round, relief: Jakuchū kōji
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

Ito jakuchu, anaza warudo, exh. cat. (Tokyo, Japan, 2010), illus. #166, p. 232

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), p. 129, cat. 60

Yukio Lippit, "From Kisō to Kijin: Reconsidering Eccentricity in Edo Painting", Orientations, Orientations Magazine (Hong Kong, January/February 2020), vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 44-51, p. 47, fig. 4

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), pp. 67-68, figs. 56-57

Exhibition History

Jakuchu - Another World, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Shizuoka, 04/10/2009 - 05/16/2009; Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba, 05/22/2010 - 06/27/2010

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