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Article

Chinese, 9th century, male.

Active in the middle of the 9th century in Chengdu (Sichuan).

Painter. Religious subjects. Murals.

Fan Qiong was a painter of religious subjects. He produced many mural paintings after Buddhism was restored in China in 850. His brushstrokes were said to be like wire....

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active in Paris from 1913, naturalised in 1955.

Born 27 November 1886, in Edogama, near Tokyo, baptised in 1959; died 29 January 1968, in Zurich.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, draughtsman (including ink/wash), fresco artist, print artist (including lithography/etching/aquatint), illustrator, decorative artist...

Article

Gakuo  

Japanese, 15th century, male.

Active during the late 15th and early 16th century.

Born 1504; died 1520.

Painter.

Gakuo was a Zen monk painter at the time when ink painting in Japan was developing in Zen Buddhist circles before it spread to the laity. Inspired by the work of his master Shubun (active ...

Article

Chinese, 13th – 14th century, male.

Born 1248, in Datong (Shanxi); died probably after 1310.

Painter.

Gao Kekong’s family were Muslim Uighurs from eastern Turkestan who had assimilated to Han culture. His father was a scholar from Datong, but he himself went to live in Wulin. Gao Kekong began his official career in ...

Article

Genkei  

Japanese, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1648, in Kyoto; died 1710.

Sculptor, monk.

After having been a sculptor of Buddhist statues in Kyoto, Genkei became a monk in 1669, at the age of 21, and a disciple of Tetsugen Zenji. He then went on a long preaching tour of Japan during which he conceived the vast project of carving statues of the Rakan (the Arhats, or disciples of the Buddha). He went to Edo (now Tokyo) to seek the assistance of Tetsugyu Osho, a priest of the Gufuku-ji at Ushima, through whose good offices he was permitted to stay at the monastery attached to the Senso-ji (Asakusa-dera) at Edo. There, at the beginning of the Genroku period (...

Article

Gensho  

Japanese, 12th century, male.

Born 1146; died 1206.

Painter. Religious subjects.

Gensho was a priest at the Getsujo-in temple on Mount Koyasan. He specialised in painting Buddhist subjects.

Tazawa, Yutaka: Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Art, Kodansha International Ltd, Tokyo, 1981.

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 21 January 1930, in Chiba.

Painter. Landscapes.

Goto Sumio was the son of a priest at a Buddhist temple at Sekiyado. In 1943 he started his preparation to become a monk. In 1945 he began to learn painting under Yamamoto Kyujin, and in ...

Article

Guanxiu  

Chinese, 9th – 10th century, male.

Born 832, in Lanxi (Zhejiang); died 912.

Painter.

Guanxiu was a Chan Buddhist monk. At the age of seven he was sent to a Chan monastery, then, still at an early age, he left for Jianxi, where he painted portraits of arhats in the temple of the Hall of the Cloud. In 894, he was sent to Hangzhou, where he continued to decorate temple walls with portraits of arhats. In 896 he went to the court of Changsha (Hunan), but, becoming involved in an intrigue, had to flee and finally settled in Chengdu (Sichuan), after travelling through the southern provinces. There the King of Shu bestowed upon him the ‘Great Master of the Chan Moon’....

Article

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1737; died 1812.

Painter.

Gyokuzan was a painter from Osaka. He was promoted to the rank of hokkyo, a title meaning ‘bridge of Buddhist law’ initially given to Buddhist monks but later becoming an honorific given to other worthy members of society, such as artists. He illustrated many historical narratives, notably the ...

Article

Hakuka  

Korean, 6th century, male.

Painter.

Buddhism arrived in Japan from China (via Korea) in the second half of the 6th century AD. With it came Buddhist art and the techniques and materials on which Japanese art would be built. Although nothing is known of the life of Hakuka, he is known to have been one of the Korean artists who, together with monks and architects, went to settle in Japan in 588. As such, he contributed to the spread of Buddhist art in Japan. He came from the Korean kingdom of Paekche, known in Japanese as Kudara....

Article

Han Gan  

Chinese, 8th century, male.

Active during the second half of the 8th century.

Painter. Horses.

Although Han Gan painted figures, notably Buddhist frescoes, he is known principally as a horse painter, and the subject was elevated to the status of a genre partly on account of him. The importance of this genre may be explained by the significant role horses played during the Tang dynasty in China (618-907); the tool of conquest and of expansion towards central Asia, they were directly linked to the expansion of the Chinese empire’s geographical and cultural horizons. In addition, they were associated with various aristocratic entertainments, such as polo, hunting and jousting, and they were particularly prized at court, where huge, splendid stables were maintained. The imperial stables were home to 40,000 horses when Han Gan was summoned to work there. The best artists were invited to do portraits of the emperor’s favourite mounts, especially as a large number of these horses were sent to the capital as tribute by the distant regions of Ferghana and Khotan, and the paintings also immortalised the tribute paid by foreign nations to the Chinese court. As such, they take on a historical dimension....

Article

Chinese, 10th century, male.

Active during the second half of the 10th century.

Born in Jurong (Jiangsu).

Painter. Figures, animals.

Hao Cheng painted Buddhist figures, Taoist figures and horses.

Boston (MFA): Man Trying to Capture a Horse (with the inscription ‘From the brush of Hao Cheng’, in the style of the Song Emperor Huizong, sheet of an album dated ...

Article

Japanese, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1872, in Okayama Prefecture; died 1979.

Sculptor. Religious subjects, mythological figures, local figures, portraits.

Hirakushi studied sculpture under Takamura Koun and was soon selected to take part in the Bunten (ministry of education) exhibition and exhibitions at the art institute. In ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1895, in Matsue (Shimane Prefecture); died 1997.

Painter, engraver (wood). Religious subjects, nudes.

Sosaku Hanga.

The grandson of an architect and son of a carpenter, Hiratsuka graduated from Matsue Commercial School before studying Western painting with Ishii Hakutei and Umehara Ryuzaburo and woodblock printing with Igami Bonkotsu. He exhibited woodblock prints in the ...

Article

Chinese, 11th century, male.

Active 1087-1093.

Born in Zheijiang Province.

Painter. Flowers.

Hua Guangren was a Buddhist monk who painted plum trees in blossom.

Article

Hualin  

Chinese, 17th century, male.

Born 1597, in Sanshan (Fujian); died 1667.

Painter.

A Buddhist monk, Hualin left for Japan in 1660, where he became a priest. Many of his landscapes and flower and bamboo paintings are thus to be found in Japan.

Article

Chinese, 10th century, male.

Born c. 900, in Chengdu (Sichuan); died 965.

Painter. Religious subjects, flowers, birds.

Huang Quan was a painter in the service of Meng Cheng of the Later Shu kingdom. He painted religious subjects, both Buddhist and Taoist, but mainly flowers and birds, and it was as a flower and bird painter that he was highly appreciated at the Shu court academy. These paintings are very realistic in their detail and imbued with an intense vitality, thanks to a new technique, the so-called ...

Article

Injo  

Japanese, 11th century, male.

Died 1108.

Sculptor.

Injo, a Buddhist sculptor, is said to be the son of Kakujo or Chosei and the grandson of Jocho, a great sculptor who died in 1057. He was therefore part of an important line of artists who formed one of the two main currents of Buddhist art at the beginning of the Heian period. He is considered the founder of the Shichijo Omiya studio in Kyoto, where he continued to work, with his numerous assistants, in the style of Jocho. It was probably for this reason that he received the honorary title of ...

Article

Injo  

Japanese, 13th century, male.

Active at the end of the 13th century.

Sculptor.

Injo was a Buddhist sculptor who received the title of Hoin (an ecclesiastical title conferred on sculptors). In 1295, he executed the Jizo Bosatsu (Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha) of the Umegahata cemetery in Kyoto....

Article

Inkaku  

Japanese, 12th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 12th century.

Sculptor.

Inkaku, a Buddhist artist in the line of Jocho who died in 1057, worked in the Shichijo Omiya studio, founded in Kyoto by Injo, who died in 1108. He is said to be the sculptor of the statue of the Amida Buddha (Sanskrit: Amithaba Buddha) in the Hokongo-in monastery in Kyoto, dated ...