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Tigress and Cubs

Konoshima Ōkoku

Artwork Details

Tigress and Cubs
1st half of 20th century
Konoshima Ōkoku
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk
5 ft. 2 1/2 in. x 28 1/16 in. (158.75 x 71.28 cm); ;15 3/8 x 39 x 3 3/4 in. (39.05 x 99.06 x 9.53 cm)
Museum purchase made possible by a gift from Helmut Stern
1989/2.6

On Display

Not currently on display

Description

Konoshima Ōkoku
Japan, ca. 1877–1938
Tigress and Cubs
Shōwa period (1926–1989)
Early 20th century
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk
Museum purchase made possible by a gift from Helmut Stern,
1989/2.6

Tigers were a familiar subject in Zen Buddhist painting. In the
Edo period (1615–1868), images of tigers were more secularized and
became a favorite animal subject of Kyoto painters who sought
to faithfully depict the natural world. In this powerful painting,
a mother tiger sits protectively between her cubs and the viewer.
Nonetheless, her eyes are soft and thoughtful, as if she is returning
the viewer’s gaze.

Konoshima Ōkoku was a prolific painter who produced many large
screens in the early twentieth century. The same powerful use of
color found in his screens is evident in this scroll.

Summer 2023 Gallery Rotation
__________

Tigers were a familiar subject in Zen Buddhist painting. In the Edo period, images of tigers were more secularized and became a favorite animal subject of the line of Kyoto painters who sought faithful depiction of the natural world. In this powerful painting, a mother tiger sits protectively between her cubs and the viewer. Contrary to her dominant gesture, her eyes are soft and thoughtful, as if she is trying to look into the viewer’s eyes.
Konoshima Okoku was an indefatigable painter who produced many large screens in the early twentieth century. The same powerful use of color pigment that is characteristic of his screens is evident in this scroll.
(Japanese Gallery Rotation, Spring 2009)

Subject Matter:

Two cubs lay beneath their mother, whose back is to the viewer, yet curves her head around to face outwards. Her eyes are golden, and look out towards the viewer as if the send a threatening message to stay away. One cub looks up at its mother with closed eyes, perhaps hungry. The mother's white whiskers stand out against the otherwise warm, golden tones of the painting.

Physical Description:

Two cubs lay beneath their mother, whose back is to the viewer, yet curves her head around to face outwards. Her eyes are golden, and look out towards the viewer. One cub looks up at its mother with closed eyes. The mother's white whiskers stand out against the otherwise warm, golden tones of the painting.

Usage Rights:

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