This painting portrays the Thunder God (Raijin), a powerful and ferocious figure, is fishing for his drum, carelessly dropped in the ocean.
This painting is an example of Otsu-e, a type of folk painting originating not far from Kyoto in the present-day Shiga Prefecture towns of Otsu, Oiwake, and Otani. Otsu-e were produced with cheap local materials and stencils were used to facilitate mass production, making them affordable even to the lower classes.
By the latter half of the seventeenth century, Otsu-e became more secular. This humorous painting among other Otsu-e had strong popular appeal, and made their way into the art and literature of famous Edo period figures. Otsu-e with iconography associated with beneficial powers would later function as amulets.
The dark color pallette and the moon indicate that the image is set at night. There are people standing in the water, bending over in search of fish. Others stand on the bank, helping with the fishing process. Also shown are the silhouettes of a bridge over the water and the mountains in the distance.
Among the rolling green mountains, figures in this scroll go about their lives, leading cattle to drink along the riverside and dangling fishing lines over the edge of small boats in hopes of catching something for dinner. Highlights of red pigment add brilliance to a grove of trees near the middle of the scroll. The detail work in the trees is spectacular, with twisted and knotted trunks that seem to refuse to stand upright, but bend against gravity, in some cases revealing networks of tangled roots.
The luminous greens and blues in this handscroll are derived from mineral and azurite pigments, adding to the overall shine and radiance of the work. Blue-and-green landscape technique was typically orchestrated by court painters, and this scroll includes a red oval-shaped seal indicating that it was a part of the collection of Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong (r. 1736-1795).
Two components make up this vertical whistle. The superstructure is a wooden carving of two birds that face each other, bellies touching, with a small round object between them, so that each is holding it in their beaks. The birds' talons clutch the base of the sculpture. The base has a hole in the center into which the antelope horn is pegged.
The sculpture atop the horn illustrates a Vili proverb warning about the complications that stem from fighting over the same woman. Ritual specialists often doubled as judges in time of moral and social instability. People facing seemingly irreconcilable problems consulted experts to get to the root of the problem. Banganga or professional practitioners used objects like this whistle to awaken ancestral forces lying latent in nearby minkisi sculptures.
A light sketch drawing of a scene full of activity. Towards the center of the piece is a pair of lovers in embrace. All around them are nude figures, identified as children, playing by the water. Some are fishing, others are in a boat, and the remainder are either swimming of reclining by the water's side. Below these figures is a study drawing of a person's profile angled to the left, while above the scene is a more detailed study drawing of a young boy's head.
Signed in graphite, l.l.: butterfly monogram Signed in stone, on tablecloth in image: butterfly monogram Verso, inscribed in graphite, LL corner: "a 23958"; LL: "APG 13354"; LR corner: "# 654/ a u" Unidentified watermark (see file for sketch).
Figures are seen seated out of doors around a table in a garden. The table is set with a tea and coffee service and cups and saucers; behind the figures is a screen of trees.
This intimate gathering is set in the garden of Whistler's house in Cheyne Walk. Drawn most likely in June of 1891, the scene depicts the following people: Mrs. Brandon Thomas, Walter Sickert (standing), Sidney Starr, Brandon Thomas, Beatrix Whistler, Ethel Birnie Philip.