Artist: attributed to Shubun
Historical period(s)
Muromachi period, 15th century
Ink on paper
H x W: 90.5 x 35 cm (35 5/8 x 13 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Buddhism, Japan, kakemono, landscape, Muromachi period (1333 - 1573)
Provenance research underway.

The Zen (in Chinese, Chan) Buddhist sect, which originated in China, stresses meditation as a means of attaining enlightenment.  After Chinese monks established the first Zen monasteries in Japan under the patronage of the new warrior elite, Zen temples fostered the styles and themes of Chinese ink painting. Ink landscapes such as this one became a major genre of Japanese painting during the Muromachi period (1392-1573).

Shubun (fl. ca. 1420-ca. 1463), a Zen Buddhist monk of high rank at the Shokokuji monastery in Kyoto, was considered the preeminent Japanese painter of the second quarter of the 15th century. His principal artistic achievement was representing limitless space in painting. Although many ink paintings, especially landscapes, have been attributed to Shubun, there is little scholarly agreement on the authorship of surviving works associated with his name.

Published References
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 3: pp. 126-127, pl. 30.
  • Zaigai hiho [(Japanese Paintings in Western Collections]. 3 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2, part. I, pl. 79.
  • Kyoto Bijutsu shu. no. 45, 1918. .
  • Commission Imperiale du Japon. Histoire de l'Art du Japon: ouvrage pub. par la Commission Impériale du Japon à l'Exposition universelle de Paris, 1900. Exh. cat. Paris. cat. 2, pl. XLII.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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