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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Sparrows in Autumn

Photo by: Eduardo Calderón

Sparrows in Autumn


Takeuchi Seiho

Japanese, 1864 - 1942

Takeuchi Seiho emerged in the late Meiji period as Kyoto’s most renowned nihonga painter. Proficient in a variety of styles and techniques, Seiho was particularly known for his depictions of animals, insects, fish and birds. This pair of screen paintings reveals why: Seiho’s creatures seem to be vividly rendered with a minimum of effort. His sparrows appear virtually alive with energy so that one can almost sense the beating of their hearts beneath their feathers. The liveliness of the left screen is masterfully contrasted on the right with a scene evoking autumnal melancholy. A solitary bush warbler, a bird associated with the ebb of autumn, perches forlornly beneath a gnarled tree trunk.

Pair of six-panel screens: ink and light color on paper
53 5/8 x 101 1/4 in. (136.2 x 257.2cm)
Gift of Griffith and Patricia Way, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Photo by: Eduardo Calderón
Not currently on view


Published ReferencesMichiyo, Morioka; Berry, Paul. "Modern Masters of Kyoto: The Transformation of Japanese Painting Traditions," Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1999, p. 134, illus. 25.

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