A female immortal riding on a white deer
- Hanging scroll
- Artist: Kishi Ganku (1749-1838)
- Historical period(s)
- Edo period, early 19th century
- Ukiyo-e School
- Ink, color and gold on silk
- 187.2 x 49.2 cm
- Credit Line
- Gift of Charles Lang Freer
- Freer Gallery of Art
- Accession Number
- A female Chinese immortal who holds a red fly-whisk rides a deer that is a symbol of long life in Japan. The image may represent a female counterpart to the popular Chinese Daoist deity of long life, who is known in Japanese as Jurojin. The longevity theme is also represented by the fungus of longevity that grows from the rocks. Jurojin is usually represented as an elderly man, whereas this deity is a young woman. The substitution of a beautiful, youthful woman for the familiar Jurojin may be an example of mitate, a literary and artistic device that creates unexpected parallels or comparisons between dissimilar subjects. The painting was created during a vogue for paintings of "Chinese beauties" that was begun by Maruyama Okyo in the eighteenth century. The inscription, a two-line couplet in Chinese, reads:
While sitting at home she makes a lute her companion,
While she travels abroad a deer attends upon her.
The poem is signed Gyokuen, the literary name of the Confucian scholar and calligrapher Tatsu Seika (17511821). The painter, Kishi Ganku, studied Chinese-style painting as well as the style of Maruyama Okyo and his followers. The fluid, descriptive lines and delicate colors of the costume reflect the influence of the Okyo school.
(Translation of poem by William R. B. Acker)
M. Terauchi, to 1894 
From 1894 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Terauchi in December 1894 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See Voucher No. 6, December, 1894, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
 See note 1.
 The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.
- Previous Owners
- M. Terauchi
- On View Location
- Currently not on view
- couplet, Daoist Immortals, deer, Edo period (1615 - 1868), fly whisk, Japan, kakemono, woman
- Collection(s) Area
- Japanese Art
- Web Resource(s)
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
- Copyright with museum