Itō Jakuchū Week at TechnoChitlins

Portrait of Itō Jakuchū by Kubota Beisen
Portrait of Itō Jakuchū by Kubota Beisen


In this Japanese name, the family name is Itō.

A portrait of Itō Jakuchū drawn byKubota Beisen on the 85th anniversary of his death

Itō Jakuchū (伊藤 若冲?, 2 March 1716 – 27 October 1800)[1] was a Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period when Japan had closed its doors to the outside world. Many of his paintings concern traditionally Japanese subjects, particularly chickens and other birds. Many of his otherwise traditional works display a great degree of experimentation with perspective, and with other very modern stylistic elements.

Compared to Soga Shōhaku and other exemplars of the mid-Edo period eccentric painters, Jakuchū is said to have been very calm, restrained, and professional. He held strong ties to Zen Buddhist ideals, and was considered a lay brother (koji); but he was also keenly aware of his role within a Kyoto society that was becoming increasingly commercial.

I was led to this fellow by none other than Ms. Weasal, who was impressed with his watercolors of chickens. As you’ll see, though, he did much more than that. Sorry for the lack of titles and such, a lot of that information was harder to find than I wanted to mess with. Beautiful artwork, though, I think you’ll agree.