Places, Images, Times & Transformations


(1420-1506). Ink painter active during the second half of the 15th century. Born in Bitchū Province (now part of Okayama Prefecture), he went to Kyoto in his early years, becoming a monk at the Shōkokuji temple. In 1467, he traveled to China with a trade mission, and there he painted many village sketches, some of which survive today through later copies. Sesshū is best known for his landscapes. His works are characterized by dynamic brushwork and structured composition, a clear departure from the lyrical mode of his predecessors. His best-known work is Haboku sansuizu (1495, Haboku Landscape). Other well-known works include a landscape scroll entitled Amanohashidate (ca 1501), a pair of hanging scrolls entitled Shūtō sansuizu (Autumn and Winter Landscapes), and a horizontal handscroll entitled Sansui chōkan (1486, Landscape). (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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