Skip to Content ☰ Open Filter >>

East Asia

Showing 3 of 5

Image of Insects on Grass

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version


Insects on Grass

Shibata Zeshin, Japanese, (1807–1891)

Creation date: 19th century
Creation place: Japan

Other Information

Type: Hanging scroll
Medium and Support: Color and lacquer on silk, hanging scolll
Credit Line: Gift of Edker and Blanche Pope
Accession Number: 1991.120
Dimensions: 9 5/16 in. x 19 3/4 in. (23.65 cm x 50.17 cm)


Edker and Blanche Pope, San Diego, California ( - December 31, 1991)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 31, 1991 - )

Label Copy

Asia Crossroads installation
October 2003
Shibata Zeshin was born into a family of lacquerers who served Japan’s Togugawa shogunate (1615-1868)—a regime that closed Japan to outside contact in 1639. By the time of Zeshin’s death in 1891, a great deal had changed, and Japanese art was inspiring new aesthetic directions for artists in Europe and America. Commodore Perry had arrived in 1853, ending Japan’s isolation; the shogunate had collapsed in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century; and the imperial family had been restored to rule in Japan in 1868. In his later years, Zeshin became an internationally known artist and represented his country in the promotion of Japanese lacquer art at the International Expositions of Vienna (1873), Philadelphia (1876), and Paris (1890).

This painting, closely related to designs that Zeshin also realized in lacquer, conforms to the style of lyric naturalism that he learned as a student of the Shijo school of painting in Kyoto, and to which he brought compositional daring and sparkling wit. Here he has introduced the vibrant luster of black lacquer into an ink painting, rendering the hard bodies of the insects in virtually three dimensions amid the wafting grasses.
Last Updated: 1/13/2020


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Dr. Caron Smith. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 61, Figure Number: 61

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Submit a question or comment about this object

Showing 3 of 5

Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is " East Asia" and [Object]Obj. Type is "Hanging scroll".