The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of August 30, 2016

Plums, Bamboo, and Orchid, 1834

hanging scroll; ink on silk, Painting only: 172.40 x 79.00 cm (67 13/16 x 31 1/16 inches); Including mounting: 252.70 x 105.40 cm (99 7/16 x 41 7/16 inches). Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1975.93

In Japan, the literati painter Yamamoto Baiitsu loved the plum and even changed his name to include the word plum. Here, he created a dynamic composition to show the energy of the late Edo period. The plum, bamboo, and orchid derive from the motif of the Four Gentlemen, also called the Four Noble Ones or Four Friends. The term compares four plants--the plum blossom, bamboo, orchid, and chrysanthemum--to Confucian scholar-junzi, or "gentlemen." Four Gentlemen also refers to a painting or decoration incorporating all the plants, which are most typically depicted in traditional ink paintings. [Seunghye Sun, Cleveland Museum of Art, (3/27-8/28/11); "The Lure of Painted Poetry"]

date and signature at lower left.

Later Japanese Art Rotation (Gallery 113); December 4, 2203 - March 18, 2004.
Cleveland Museum of Art, (3/27-8/28/11); "The Lure of Painted Poetry" cat. no. 76

Library materials about Yamamoto Baiitsu (2)

Detail Views