This woodwork depicts Ebisu, the god of prosperity and especially associated with fishermen. Here he carries a large sea bream or red snapper symbolizing good fortune.
Ebisu is one of the seven lucky gods (shichi fukujin) of Japanese mythology; he is associated with fishermen. Though this statue is carved from wood, during the Edo period it was common for such figures to be made of rice, which was not only a source of food and a sign of a bountiful harvest, but a form of currency.
Like Daikoku, Ebisu is also associated with the kitchen and were often enshrined there together to bring fortune and prosperity to the family. A lucky god, he can be found depicted in many folk paintings, including the art of Otsu-e.
A watercolor primarily in greens, blues, black and grey depicting a landscape with rolling hills and a tower and lake in the distance. A family of weary travelers are positioned in the shaded left foreground. A herd of sheep and two donkeys rest in the sunlit fields in the mid-ground.
A landscape with hills, travelers, animals and a tower in the distance.
Print featuring a image of a small boy and a bearded man standing at right near a body of water on left. Small bush at left and trees in the distance.
Already a prolific etcher, Emil Nolde learned the art of woodcut during his brief association with Die Brücke in the years 1906 and 1907. This work from 1906 is part of the artist’s series Märchen (Fairy Tales), made up of ten woodcuts illustrating individual scenes loosely adapted from folk legends, proverbs, and Bavarian glass painting.
In Despair we see an excellent example of Nolde’s early mastery of this print technique. He often incorporated the knots, grains, and inherent imperfections of the wood into his printed works. In this early print we see this impulse not only to make the grain visible but to incorporate it as the basis for the flowing waves of the water, the windblown clouds overhead, and the bent posture of the man at the water’s edge. Further example of his early skill is seen in the bush at the left of the composition, which the artist added using either wood plugs or putty to fill in a previously carved area. The addition creates a formal delineation between foreground and background, giving the entire work a depth it would not otherwise possess.