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Gallery Text

No painter developed a more singular literati style than Gyokudō, who, at the age of 50, retired from his position as a provincial bureaucrat and spent the rest of his life traveling around the archipelago with his sons, playing the zither and painting in return for lodging. He received no formal painting training but developed a uniquely expressive pictorial language that elaborated on a Chinese texture stroke known as the Mi dot, in which the brush is pressed onto the surface of the paper to form a fingerprint-like impression. Gyokudō transformed the Mi dot into a series of horizontal strokes to create shimmering landscapes such as this unusually large painting. Each of these works invariably includes a traveler like the one seen here crossing the bridge in the foreground.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Uragami Gyokudō, Japanese (Bizen 1745 - 1820)
Quiet Pleasure in the Mountains
Work Type
painting, hanging scroll
c. 1810
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
painting proper: H. 118 × W. 52.5 cm (46 7/16 × 20 11/16 in.)
overall mounting, including roller ends and suspension cord: H. 211 × W. 76.5 cm (83 1/16 × 30 1/8 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 58, fig. 45

Exhibition History

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/14/2020 - 07/26/2020

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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu