Artist: Kao (fl. ca. 1300-1350)
Historical period(s)
Muromachi period, 14th century
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 104.5 × 31.1 cm (41 1/8 × 12 1/4 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Japan, kakemono, Muromachi period (1333 - 1573), poet, portrait
Provenance research underway.

The Chinese poet Hanshan, whose name literally means "Cold Mountain," is known in Japanese as Kanzan and is often depicted in Zen Buddhist paintings.  In this painting, Hanshan is shown in profile, nearly turning his back to the viewer in a pose that expresses his reclusive nature. The artist Kao was one of the earliest Japanese artists to assimilate the methods and subjects of Chinese ink painting.  His informal, spontaneous brushwork focuses on the spirit of Hanshan.

Published References
  • Zaigai hiho [(Japanese Paintings in Western Collections]. 3 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2: pt. II, p. 99.
  • Great Drawings of All Time. 4 vols., New York. pl. 912.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 23, vol. 2: p. 160.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. Zen and Oriental Art. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo. p. 74.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 109.
  • Penelope Mason, (Revised by) Donald Dinwiddie. History of Japanese Art., 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. p. 221, fig. 255.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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