Daikokuten (God of Wealth)

By Ogata Korin



Artist By Ogata Korin
Period Edo period, dated 1704
Materials and techniques Hanging scroll, ink and light colour on paper
Size 93.2×28.9


Machi-eshi (town painters) of the Edo period did many paintings of auspicious subjects, such as the Seven Gods of Fortune, Mount Fuji, pine tree and crane, bamboo, dragon and tiger, plum tree and falcon.
It is not clear how this painting came to be executed however out of the several extant paintings of Daikokuten by Korin, this one is done in a comparatively unrestrained manner. Toward the center of the painting is Daikokuten facing a little to the left, standing on a bale of rice. The contour of the figure is delineated in light ink, while his garment and mallet are depicted in the contrasting dark ink. He stands on one bale of rice yet there is another bale behind him, implying a sense of movement, as if he has just stepped his foot off the other bale.
In the upper portion of the painting is an inscription by Nakamura Kuranosuke, a senior official in the silver mint in Ginza and a patron of Korin. It is dated 1704, which happens to be the year that the “Portrait of Nakamura Kuranosuke” owned by th Museum Yamato Bunkakan was painted by Korin, indicating that this perid was when the two men were the most intimate. There are numerous paintings of Daikokuten by Korin, however this one is the most highly valued.