The tiger is believed to repel evil, while the dragon attracts good fortune. The compound images of the tiger conjuring up the wind and the dragon rising from the crested waves to summon billowing clouds have been the subject of paired paintings by masters of Chinese and Japanese art since the twelfth century. Ōkyo’s screens continue the lineage of imminent artists contributing to this tradition. Ōkyo renders both animals in extraordinary detail, with controlled brushwork giving a rich, soft texture to the tiger’s pelt, while moist scales and vapors lightly washed with gold impart a reptilian feeling to the dragon.
Artist Maruyama Okyo, Japanese, 1733-1795
Title
  • Tiger and Dragon: Dragon
Date 1781
Medium ink, color paint, and gold on paper
Dimensions Overall (fully open): 66 1/8 × 74 inches (168 × 188 cm)
Installed: 66 1/8 × 66 1/2 × 17 1/2 inches (168 × 168.9 × 44.5 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Abraham Borman Family Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Horace E. Dodge Memorial Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Buhl Ford II Fund, General Endowment Fund, Josephine and Ernest Kanzler Fund, G. Albert Lyon Foundation Fund, Mary Martin Semmes Fund and Henry E. and Consuelo S. Wenger Foundation Fund
Accession Number 81.693.2
Department Asian Art
Not On View
Marks Stamps, in red, at right center: [two seals]
Inscriptions Inscribed, at right center
(Klaus F. Naumann, Tokyo, Japan);
1981-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Okyo and His School. Osaka and Nagoya, 1979, pl. 25.

Naumann, Klaus. "Okyo and the Maruyama Shijo School." Oriental Art 27, no.1 (Spring 1981): p. 113 (ill.).

Mitchell, Suzanne. "An Introduction to Recent Asian Acquisitions." Bulletin of the DIA 59, nos. 2/3 (Winter 1981): pp. 60-61, 62, fig. 5.

Cummings, Frederick J. "Director's Report." Bulletin of the DIA 60, nos. 1/2 (Summer 1982): p. 8-9, fig. 5.

Mitchell, Suzanne. "The Asian Collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts." Orientations 13, no. 5 (May 1982): pp. 28-29, 30-31, fig. 16b.

Dell, T. et al. The Dodge Collection of Eighteenth-Century French and English Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. New York and Detroit, 1996, p. 240.