Kakunen Tsuruoka, 1892-1977
three red songbirds on branch
ink and color on light brown paper; the entire background painted darker brown; signed Kakunen ga with artist's square seal Kakunen, with oval Tsuruoka family seal on verso, n.d., ca. 1920s
6 7/8 by 24 7/8 in., 17.5 by 63.3 cm
This appears to be a grouping of summer tanagers that are known to inhabit portions of southern United States in the winter, migrating to South America in the summer. The rosy-red plumage belongs to adult male birds, while the yellowish-brown bird is a female.
The pooling of green, black, and brown pigment on the surface of the tree branch and leaves a classic example of the use of tarashikomi (lit. 'dripping in''), a technique of manipulating layers of wet paint and ink which is associated with traditional Rinpa-style painting. The faint sheen on some of the darkest areas hint that Kakunen may have incorporated a bit of lacquer or some other viscous material.
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
April 13, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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