The Art of Japanese Screens and Furnishings

Ref. 4846

A four-fold silk screen painted in ink and colours on a speckled gold ground with roosters, hens and chicks amongst kiku.

Signed: Okamoto Shuki (1767-1862)

Japan Edo period 18th/19th century

Dimensions: H. 85.5cm x W. 159cm.

The rooster, apart from being one of the signs of the zodiac, has always been highly regarded in Asia and, when depicted with a hen and chicks, symbolises the virtues of courage, fidelity and loyalty. In accordance with Chinese folklore, small chicks sheltered by their mother’s protective wings represent the future success of one’s offspring.

Okamoto Shuki (1767 – 1862) studied under Onishi Keisai until his death, he then followed Watanabe Kazan. He lived in Edo (Kyoto) as a retainer of Lord Okubo Odawara until his latter years when he served the Doi clan. Shuki is best known for his kachoga (bird and flower paintings) and painted in a style close to Tsubaki Chinzan and Kanzan. Coll. Los Angeles County Museum, Odawara, Tokyo.