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Deer and Bat
Date: approx. 1872-1891
Historical Period: Meiji period (1868-1912)
Object Name: Two panel folding screen
Materials: Lacquer and gold leaf on paper
Dimensions: H. 53.6 in x W. 65 1/4 in, H. 136.2 cm x W. 165.7 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B60D59+
On Display: No

Description

Label: This two-panel screen is a study in contrasts. The complex composition in lacquer on paper, at the right, contrasts with a single bat floating on a sea of gold on the left. Two young brown deer stand opposite a grizzled old white deer, which in turn is set against the darkness of a rocky outcropping with brown mushrooms sprouting below. The animal and plant motifs in this painting are unusually rich in auspicious meanings. The white bat is the Chinese symbol for happiness (fuku in Japanese), and the deer is a symbol for rank (roku);  the mushrooms beside the deer's feet are associated with longevity (ju), thus the composition stands for Fuku roku ju, the three good wishes of Chinese tradition. Finally, a white deer often appears as companion of Fukurokuju, one of the Seven Lucky Gods.

More Information

Signature/Seal: Signed "Zeshin"
Marks: Tairyukyo
Label: This two-panel screen is a study in contrasts. The complex composition in lacquer on paper, at the right, contrasts with a single bat floating on a sea of gold on the left. Two young brown deer stand opposite a grizzled old white deer, which in turn is set against the darkness of a rocky outcropping with brown mushrooms sprouting below. The animal and plant motifs in this painting are unusually rich in auspicious meanings. The white bat is the Chinese symbol for happiness (fuku in Japanese), and the deer is a symbol for rank (roku);  the mushrooms beside the deer's feet are associated with longevity (ju), thus the composition stands for Fuku roku ju, the three good wishes of Chinese tradition. Finally, a white deer often appears as companion of Fukurokuju, one of the Seven Lucky Gods.
Signature/Seal: Signed "Zeshin"
Marks: Tairyukyo