The painting is an early work made by Okyo Maruyama, during which time he signed by the name of “Senrei.” It is a depiction of a moment when a bird has come down to rest on a withered lotus leaf. The bird appears in negative space as if it is the spirit of a bird. The work fashions its own universe, inviting viewers to join in contemplation.
The lighting condition inside our contemporary living spaces is diﬀerent from that of the time when Maruyama painted this piece and intended for it to be viewed. However, with a light controller one can find the appropriate lighting to recreate the moment when the spirit of the bird comes alive, revealing itself to the viewer. This moment is glorious. It transports us to a diﬀerent era.
About the Artist:
Maruyama Okyo was the son of a farmer in the Tamba Province of Japan, what is now the part of the Kyoto Prefecture. During his youth, he spent several years in a monastery studying its collection of ancient Chinese and Japanese paintings. Okyo founded the Maruyama School of painting, which was characterized by a close and accurate observation of nature. Okyo’s sketches, drawn directly from nature, possess a naïve freshness of detail and display a definitive curiosity about exploring surfaces and textures. The innovations in his work and painting philosophy mark him as one of the most influential painters of the 18th century.