Sep 17, 2014
Sep 17, 2014




c. 1788–89

Nagasawa Rosetsu 長澤蘆雪

(Japanese, 1754-1799)

Hanging scroll, ink, color, gold and silver pigments on paper

Image: 114.3 x 40.6 cm (45 x 16 in.); Overall: 200.7 x 54 cm (79 x 21 1/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1998.5



Rather than using the ink tones and palette of traditional Japanese painting, Rosetsu carefully described an earthen wall and two snails in a Western-influenced manner known as doro-e ("mud" or "earth" painting), building up pigments like the brushstrokes of thick oil paint.

This is a commonplace scene, yet it surprises us with its novelty and elegance. The snails' trails are rendered in silver paint and the artist applied his signature in gold paint—materials traditionally reserved for more noble subjects.

Rosetsu was an independent painter active in Kyoto, Japan's cultural capital. He was known for his visual wit and superb range of technical skills.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email