Monday, July 19, 2010

Exquisite Japanese Watercolors of a Rooster, Hen and Chicks

These two exquisitely detailed Japanese watercolors of a rooster, hen and chicks were most likely created in the 19th century.

Japanese long-tailed fowl have been breed by the Japanese aristocracy for over 350 years. Depictions of these Japanese roosters began to appear in Japanese art in the 1630s, near the time when Japan closed its ports to outside trade. It is suggested that these roosters were brought to Japan by Dutch traders from Java, which was a Dutch colony, as depictions of long-tailed roosters appear in Dutch art of the same era. Breeding these exotic fowl is a hobby for many today.

The symbol of the rooster has some significance in Japanese culture. The use of animal symbol as part of the zodiac, which originated in China, was adopted in Japan in 604. The Asian zodiac is divided into 12 years, each named after an animal: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and boar. People that are born in the same animal year are said to share similar traits. Those born during the year of the rooster are said to be profound thinkers and devoted to their work.

These wonderful watercolors are currently on view at the 435 Jackson St., San Francisco location of Arader Galleries. Please call 415.788.5115 for any additional questions you may have.

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