A small figure is shown near a ship on the water. A building or house is partially hidden by hills. Trees, mountains, and clouds are strewn across the landscape with bold brishwork.
This hanging scroll is one of a pair that was handed down in the collection of the Kuroda family, lords of a major domain in western Japan, near the area where Sesshû spent the last part of his life. It may be an image of a small fishing village in summer.
Painting shows a large country estate house. Situated in the middle distance, the house angles into space. At the near end is a dovecotte and at the furthest point is an arcade attaching the main house to another building that is obscured by trees. The foreground is framed by trees on either side, the lefthand tree is partially dead. At center in the foreground is an elegant party in a boat on a small lake. This group consists of two women and a man, hand outstretched indicating the scene of the house in the distance. In addition, two men in vests are also part of the group in the boat, one of whom is seated, the other is propelling the boat with an oar. Swans, with wings extended behind them, also grace the surface of the water.
William Ashford became one of the best-known painters in late-18th century Ireland was born in Birmingham, England. His country house landscapes have a distinctly English mood and show prosperous estates that are well kept and reflect a harmony established beween man and nature. This building, Belan House, was built in 1745 and was the seat of the Earl of Aldborough. The composition was engraved by Argus and was published in Richardson's "Long Forgotten Days".