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Sesshū Tōyō

1420-1506 Japan/Sumi-e (Zen Ink Painting)


Brief Biography-There were five characteristics of Japanese art in the Muromachi and successive periods up to the Edo period:
1. The depictions of nature include landscapes, flowers, birds, and animals.
2. The importation of outside influences. Mainly from China and Korea.
3. The third is by using open space between different asymmetric subjects in pictures. (Evident in Winter Landscape)
4. The use of extreme opposites. A complete painting or a painting with just a few strokes.
5. The input of humour and playfulness; derived from life in the pleasure quarters of cities; established for the first time in 1617 in the centre of Edo, or Tokyo.
Sesshū Tōyō's work is an example of the style of Zen ink, sometimes known as sumi-e, or suiboku-ga, imported to Japan from China by Zen Buddhist monks. He visited China, and when he returned to Japan, he established a studio that became known as the School of Sesshū. Sesshū Tōyō was a student of Tenshō Shūbun.


Click an Image to Enlarge

jurojin beneath a
plum tree

 jurojin beneath a plum tree

and jittoku

kanzan and jittoku

winter landscape

winter landscape

flowers and birds
of the four seasons

flowers and birds of the four seasons