Sesshu was a Zen priest known for painting Zen Buddhist pictures, screens, and landscapes. He is the most prominent if not the most famous Japanese painter of the Muromachi period. This ink on paper hanging scroll depicts the duo immortal Zen eccentrics Hanzan and Jittoku(Tang dynasty characters). The Daoist immortal characters are idolized throughout the Asian world. Together they represent the deepest inner meaning of Zen Buddhism as a whole. Sesshu studied and traveled extensively in China, studied the Chinese masters, and completed most of his known and authentic paintings while in China. This particular piece is in the Chinese form that Sesshu studied in his prime. The artwork is titled Cold Mountain , and has two seals. Cold Mountain is one of Sesshu Toyo’s know works. However, since one part of the second seal on the scroll is illegible it is therefore possible that it could be the work of a famous pupil of Sesshu paying tribute to his work. This piece is of the period and in very fragile condition considering the age. This seems to possibly be an early work by Sesshu Toyo or a pupil of the Unkoku School. The scroll measures 62.5 inches by 24 inches. Scroll paintings, created on silk or paper, appear in two formats: handscrolls and hanging scrolls. Handscrolls were originally used to circulate Buddhist texts, with early examples dating back to the Nara period 710-794 C. Though influenced by Chinese culture, they developed into a distinctly Japanese form. Gakan is the term used to refer to Chinese as well as non-narrative handscrolls; Japanese handscrolls are referred to as emaki_illustrated narratives and picture scrolls. To reveal the text or series of scenes on a handscroll, the viewer unrolls it from right to left. , tales of romance, war, and adventure were among the subjects of _emaki. Murasaki Shikibu wrote one of the oldest novels in the world, the Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari), during this period. Such works comprise several handscrolls and were stored rolled. The vertical hanging scroll, or kakemono, is left open and hung on a wall or in an alcove; when not on display it is stored rolled. Though a form of Buddhism, Zen imagery expanded into secular representations such as landscapes, and secular activities served as meditative practice. Tea drinking was a meditative practice of Chinese Chan Buddhism from which Zen derived and was incorporated into Japanese culture. Hanging scrolls were displayed within the teahouse according to season or occasion to create a harmonious aesthetic experience. The item “Rare Antique Japanese Sesshu Toyo Scroll Painting Of Zen Kanzan & Jittoku” is in sale since Sunday, February 21, 2021. This item is in the category “Antiques\Asian Antiques\Japan\Paintings & Scrolls”. The seller is “arle_gros” and is located in Lomita, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.
- Region of Origin: Japan
- Age: 15th/16th Century
- Primary Material: Paper
- Maker: Sesshu Toyo/Unkoku School
- Original/Reproduction: Antique Original
- Color: Black/White/Cream