Tiger and Bamboo

Kanō Tsunenobulate 1600s–early 1700s, Edo period (1600–1868)

Spencer Museum of Art

Spencer Museum of Art

In East Asian painting, tigers are often paired with bamboo in order to represent two types of strength. While bamboo is resilient, bending but rarely breaking, the tiger embodies physical strength and courage. Because tigers are not indigenous to Japan, artists developed their notions of the tiger’s anatomy from imported skins. Often this resulted in tigers with smaller than normal noses and ears, and larger than normal eyes and paws. Tsunenobu’s version has some of those features, granting the tiger an animated sense of cunning and amusement.

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  • Title: Tiger and Bamboo
  • Creator: Kanō Tsunenobu
  • Date Created: late 1600s–early 1700s, Edo period (1600–1868)
  • Physical Dimensions: Length/Width/Depth: 110.5 x 40.2 cm, Length/Width/Depth: 43 1/2 x 15 13/16 in
  • Type: Asian paintings
  • Medium: ink on silk


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