Important Cultural PropertyLandscape

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  • Hanging scroll
  • Height 98.2cm Width 33.2cm
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • A甲678

Sesshu Toyo (1420-1506?) assumed his pseudonym “Sesshu” in his mid-forties. It is highly likely, however, that prior to this, he assumed the name “Sesshu Toyo” using different characters for “Sesshu.” This painting comes from the period when the artist went by this earlier name. Although the compositional technique of emphasizing length follows that of his teacher Shubun (n.d., painter-priest of Shokoku-ji Temple, official painter for the Muromachi government), the expression of the rocks and trees in front demonstrate the strength and rough brushstrokes characteristic of Sesshu. The work appears to have been painted just before the name change. Ryuko Shinkei (n.d.), who inscribed this work, was a Zen priest who wrote an explanation for the meaning of the characters that Sesshu later comes to use.

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