About the Works

Tiger and Dragon

Hasegawa Tohaku

  • Tiger and Dragon / Hasegawa Tohaku
  • Tiger and Dragon / Hasegawa Tohaku

All photographs © 2015 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Reproduced with permission.

These images are based on the high resolution facsimile produced by the Tsuzuri Project. Unauthorized copying, duplication, or transfer of these images is strictly prohibited.

Hasegawa Tohaku
Historical era:
Momoyama (17th Century)
printed on washi paper
pair of six-fold screens
High Resolution Facsimile of Japanese Art Abroad
Each screen measures H153.5 × W333.2 cm
Oita Prefectural Art MuseumMAP
Current owner:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
ink on washi paper

Divided by a wave that stretches across both screens, a dragon calling forth the clouds and a tiger bringing the wind nervously face one another. This masterpiece is one pair of six-folding screens collected by the great art collectors Ernest Fenollosa and William Bigelow. The two came to Japan in the Meiji Period and established a Japanese art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Fenollosa collected the right screen, while Bigelow collected the left. Hasegawa Tohaku was a painter active in the Momoyama Period. As the head of the "Hasegawa School," he is known to have aggressively challenged the group of painters affiliated with Kano Eitoku's "Kano School," which dominated the art world at the time. This work is known to be painted by Tohaku in 1606, a few days before his death. This is assumed from the seal, which reads, "Five generations from Sesshu, Hasegawa Hogen Tohaku, 68 years old, brush of Hasegawa Tohaku." Nonetheless, we can feel his ageless spirit from the dynamic structure and the strong strokes across the large screens.

About the Works