The Chinese Monk Hanshan

Inscription by Issan Ichinei(Yishan Yining)



Artist Inscription by Issan Ichinei(Yishan Yining)
Period Nanbokucho period, 14th century
Materials and techniques Hanging scroll, ink on paper
Size 71.4×29.2


The legendary Zen eccentrics, Hanshan and Shide were a favorite theme among the Zen Buddhist paintings. Here Hanshan is holding a scroll, but he is gazing into midair, symbolizing the Zen principle of not adhering to the letter of the scripture. The face is depicted by sharp thin lines and bordered by light ink, showing his unique expression, while the clothing is painted simply but accurately. The commentary on the top is thought to be written by Issan Ichinei, showing the writing style of his final years.