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

Rosetsu, like his teacher Maruyama Ōkyo (1733–1795), painted an enormous range of subjects for a variety of patrons. In Sparrows Alighting on Wisteria, Rosetsu depicts 17 iterations of the same species of sparrow, varying the posture of each so that the painting might depict a flock or perhaps describes the exquisitely observed movements of a single bird coming in to land. The painting showcases his ability to meld observation of the natural world and painterly convention with characteristic panache.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Nagasawa Rosetsu, Japanese (1754 - 1799)
Sparrows Alighting on Wisteria
Work Type
hanging scroll, painting
c. 1787–99
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3610, University Teaching Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
image only: 93.8 x 33 cm (36 15/16 x 13 in.)
with mount: 172.2 x 43.6 cm (67 13/16 x 17 3/16 in.)
display dimensions: 175.9 x 48.2 cm (69 1/4 x 19 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Rosetsu 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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Publication History

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), p. 139, cat. 68

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 76, fig. 65

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

32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 05/31/2015

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

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

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