The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 24, 2024

Beauty with Fireflies

Beauty with Fireflies

early 1800s
(Japanese, 1757–1820)
Mounted: 181.5 x 45.6 cm (71 7/16 x 17 15/16 in.); Painting: 95.6 x 33.2 cm (37 5/8 x 13 1/16 in.)
Location: not on view


A young woman has passed beneath an aged willow tree as she strolls along a riverbank carrying a cage full of fireflies. The painting is the work of Kubo Shunman, best known as a composer of witty verses in 31-syllables (kyōka) and designer of limited edition prints called surimono. Shunman was active during the mature era of ukiyo-e production, and his more formal paintings, such as this one, most often took as their subjects beautiful Chinese or Japanese women. Here, he commemorates one of summer's most delightful evening pastimes, the observation of the flickering lights of the firefly. The woman is presented in a ubiquitous summer setting, a refreshingly cool and breezy riverbank in earshot of rustling willow leaves.
  • 2015-
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, 2015-present
  • {{cite web|title=Beauty with Fireflies|url=false|author=Kubo Shunman|year=early 1800s|access-date=24 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL: