Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

A solitary figure, shielded from torrential rain by only a broad-brimmed hat and straw cape, sets out across an agitated expanse of water toward a gate on the opposite shore. His destination is all but obscured by the diagonal, raking strokes that bring the rainstorm gusting down upon him. Although the theme of embarking upon or taking leave of a visit is a conventional ink-painting subject, and while its deployment here registers Ōkyo’s study of Ming Chinese landscapes, the unusually wide, wet strokes used for the rain suggest that the focus of the painting is in fact the meteorological conditions themselves. Numerous passages in the diary of one of Ōkyo’s most prominent patrons record the painter’s interest in depicting weather and his advocacy of rendering "earthly vapors" as a vital force in nature.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Maruyama Ōkyo, Japanese (Anafuto, Tamba province 1733 - 1795)
Landscape in a Rainstorm
Work Type
hanging scroll, painting
1782 (Tenmei 2)
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3620, University Study Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
painting proper: H. 98.5 × W. 35.3 cm (38 3/4 × 13 7/8 in.)
overall mounting, including roller ends and suspension cord: H. 196 × W. 55 cm (77 3/16 × 21 5/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Ōkyo
  • seal: top, square, relief: Ōkyo no in
  • seal: bottom, square, relief: Chūsen
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

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 73, fig. 61

Exhibition History

32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/09/2017 - 12/07/2017

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