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Asian Art
Artist, style of: Isoda Koryūsai, Japanese, active ca. 1764–88

White Heron and Willow Tree

18th century

Polychrome woodblock print

unframed: 9 3/4 × 7 1/8 in. (24.8 × 18.1 cm) framed: 19 1/4 × 14 1/2 in. (48.9 × 36.8 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore
1950.557
Although not as well known as some other printmakers of the eighteenth century, Isoda Koryūsai is said to be the most productive artist of his time. This wintry scene of a heron resting on a snow-covered willow tree falls into the category of kachō-ga, the “flower-and-bird” paintings for which Koryūsai is known. The stylized form of the rusty-orange colored cloud is also associated with Koryūsai’s oeuvre. Looking out at the audience, the finely plumed heron raises one of its legs and stands quietly on the snow-covered tree trunk. Behind the trunk, yellow chrysanthemums are bravely in bloom despite the freezing scene, expressing the virtue of perseverance venerated especially among the literati circle.
Geography: 
Japan
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Provenance: 

Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York, to 1950; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

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 such records is ongoing.