The best time to see Ito Jakuchu's work was back in 2000 or 2006, when there were two major exhibitions that aimed to re-evaluate the underappreciated 18th-century Kyoto painter.

Now that re-evaluation has picked up plenty of steam we are currently experiencing a powerful "Jakuchu Boom," which means that the "300th Anniversary of his Birth: Jakuchu" at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art is a busy and crowded exhibition — not ideal conditions for appreciating the colorful yet delicate beauty of his work.

Jakuchu is particularly loved for his vivid depictions of animals, especially birds, of which there are several excellent examples, but a similar artistic love is bestowed by the artist on all aspects of nature, revealing a Buddhistic embrace of life in its various forms.