Monkeys by a Stream


c. 1796

Nagasawa Rosetsu 長澤蘆雪

(Japanese, 1754–1799)
Overall: 164.4 x 95.4 cm (64 3/4 x 37 9/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

Monkeys, which are found throughout the mountainous and wooded areas of Japan, became a favorite subject of many later Japanese artists.


The two monkeys in this painting are Japanese macaques. The one in front dangles its left leg over a sharply angled rock, surveying the land beyond a fast-moving mountain stream. A smaller monkey sits behind it, looking directly ahead as if it realizes it is being watched. The artist used just a few highly contrasting warm and cool colors, sweeping brushstrokes over ink washes, and loose lines to create a scene that powerfully evokes the mentally engaged state of the two animals.
Monkeys by a Stream

Monkeys by a Stream

c. 1796

Nagasawa Rosetsu

(Japanese, 1754–1799)
Japan, Edo period (1615-1868)

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