There, she had a garden with the special peach trees that yielded fruit capable of giving immortality which ripened only once in 3 thousand years.
Of course, every artwork is always bearing the traces of the cultural and historical background of the period in which it was created. In our case, the painting belongs to Edo period in the history of Japan which was marked by the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. At that time, Japan experienced economic growth, isolationist foreign policy and the rise of culture and arts. It could be stated that Japanese culture was in its golden age. One of the most significant painting schools was Maruyama school founded by the prominent artist Maruyama Okyo which nurtures many painters including Nagasawa Rosetsu, the author of the analyzed painting. Being the disciple of Maruyama, he combined Western naturalism and realism with traditional Japanese themes for painting. Jack Hillier distinguishes two types of Rosetsu’s paintings: works of studied finish and works created literally on the spot as a result of several minutes of intense painting (Hillier, 1974: 55 – 56). And the latter type is even more typical.
As Chinese and Japanese histories have been walking hand in hand since the ancient times with particular elements of mythology and culture shared, there is no wonder that Japanese painting traditions experience influence of China in the early period of their development together with the motifs borrowed from the Chinese mythology. That concern the Queen Mother of the West as the artist chose to depict a goddess from the Daosist mythology which a priori conveys certain religious meaning.
The picture appears to be fairly simple with no excessive details that could have overloaded the its space: the only objects holding their places in the painting are the Queen Mother of the West herself and a “magic” fruit of a peach tree lying on the ground. The orientation of the work is