Important Cultural PropertyHen and bamboo

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  • By Luo Chuang
  • 1 hanging scroll
  • Ink and light color on silk
  • 96.3x42.4
  • Southern Song period/13th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • TA-341

Luo Chuang was a Zen-Buddhist priest at the end of the Southern Song dynasty. He lived in the Rokutsû temple on the ridge of Hsihu, Hangzhou, and was said to have the same intention (meaning evoked by a picture) as Mokkei, who was an expert of Suibokuga (picture expressed using only lines and shades in India ink). According to his epigraph on his own painting, he painted in this picture a hen that is said to possess the five virtues of literacy, military power, courage, sympathy and confidence, in the darkness of dawn at four o'clock in the morning, but in fact it looks like a Zen-Buddhist priest who attained great wisdom at four o'clock in the morning. Previously owned by the Asano clan.