Carp Swiming en face Artist: Maruyama Ōbun (1833–1887)


Asian Art

On view, 4th floor, Special Exhibitions

Considered to be the fifth head of the Maruyama line of painters, Maruyama Ōbun was known for his landscapes and kachōga (flower-and-bird paintings) painted in a naturalistic manner. His creativity and skill are evident in this unusual painting of a black carp swimming straight at the viewer. Traditional renderings of fish are usually shown from a side-view perspective, swimming across or up the picture plane, or from a bird’s-eye-view of the water. However, the decision to show the carp facing the audience gives the image a confrontational edge. Unlike the colorful carp that were beginning to be selectively bred in nineteenth century, this carp appears to be an ordinary black magoi carp.


Hanging scroll, ink and light color on silk


with mounting: 69 1/8 × 11 3/4 in. (175.5 × 29.8 cm)
without mounting: 39 15/16 × 10 7/8 in. (101.5 × 27.6 cm)
with rollers: 13 9/16 in. (34.5 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Rosemarie and Leighton R. Longhi, B.A. 1967

Accession Number



Edo period (1615–1868)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Leighton R. Longhi, and Rosemarie Longhi, New York; gift in 2009 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • "Acquisitions 2009," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2009), 152
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

animal art, hanging scrolls


Chūshitsu (仲質)\r\nŌbun (?) (応文)


Ōbun sha (応文写)

Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.