List of Works

"White Elephant and Black Bull / Nagasawa Rosetsu"

White Elephant and Black BullWhite Elephant and Black Bull

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.

  • Artist : Nagasawa Rosetsu
  • Historical era : Edo (18th century)
  • Material : Printed on washi with gold coloring
  • Medium : Pair of six-fold screens
  • Theme : High Resolution Facsimile of Japanese Art Abroad
  • Size : Each screen measures 155.3 x 359.0 cm (L x W)
  • Recipient : Sendai City Museum
  • [Original]
  • Current owner : The Etsuko and Joe Price Collection
  • Material : Ink on paper with gold coloring


This is a masterpiece of Nagasawa Rosetsu, who has gained popularity in recent years as an eccentric painter with similarities to Ito Jakuchu and Soga Shohaku. Rosetsu was born to a samurai family in Kyoto and studied under Maruyama Okyo, a leading Edo-period painter. He revealed his talent early on and performed brilliantly as a senior disciple of Okyo. The bull and elephant in this work reflect the outstanding technique of the Maruyama school, which emphasizes reality. However, Rosetsu's wit is even more appealing. The bold composition of the white elephant and the black bull, which are so large they almost seem burst from the pair of six-fold screens, fully reflects Rosetsu's sense of beauty, which has remained fresh for more than 200 years. The same can be said of the exquisite contrast between large and small and black and white evident in the arrangement of the small black birds and white puppy that respectively emphasize the huge size of the elephant and bull.


Kyoto Culture Association (NPO)
Canon Inc.


Kyoto Culture Association (NPO)
Formerly Kyoto City Seitoku Junior high school 3F
290 Hanjocho Takatsuji Street Muromachi nishi
Shimogyo ku
Kyoto City, Kyoto
Japan 600-8433