A Bear Catching a Crab portrays a bear in the moment just as it hastily clasps its claws around a crab. With sparse yet masterful brushstrokes, Tetsuzan captures the bear's simultaneous fulfillment from catching a crab, and its response to being caught in the act. While we can see the shocked reaction of the bear to its spectator, we can only imagine the surprise of the unlucky witness who happened upon him. In this split second moment, one can almost feel the stunned communication between bear and man.
The man, the spectator, is the viewer: you.
About the Artist:
Mori Tetsuzan was born in Kyoto and was adopted by his uncle, Mori Sosen, the founder of Mori school. He also studied with Maruyama Okyo and became Okyo Jyuttetsu ((応挙十哲) one of Maruyama Okyo's ten best pupils. He later moved to Edo, bringing the Maruyama style to the Kanto region. Tetsuzan was a highly sophisticated experimentalist with the brush stroke and capable of contriving unexpected twists on conventional themes.