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Chinese, 12th – 13th century, male.

Painter. Figures.

Song dynasty.

Bo Liangyu was a member of the academy of painting during the reign of Emperor Ningzong (1195-1225). He devoted himself to painting Taoist and Buddhist figures.


Chinese, 14th century, male.

Active in the first half of the 14th century, during the Yuan dynasty.


Bo Ziting was a Buddhist painter from Jiading (Jiangsu) who painted rocks and flowers.


Chinese, 14th century, male.

Born in Qiantang (Zhejiang).


Ding Qingji was a Taoist monk who painted portraits of Buddhist and Taoist figures in the styles of Li Song and Ma Lin.



Korean, 7th century, male.

Active in the early 7th century.


Doncho was a Korean Buddhist monk from the state of Koguryo, who probably arrived in Japan in 610, bringing with him the knowledge of making colours, paper and ink. In this way not only Buddhist art but also a new technique and new materials were introduced into Japan, and would subsequently form the basis of Japanese art. According to the guide of the Horyu-ji temple in Nara in the 1920s, the murals in the ...



Japanese, 14th century, male.

Active 1350-1395.


Eiga specialised in Buddhist painting and is one of the earliest representatives of Muromachi ink painting. The honorific title ‘hogen’ was bestowed on him.

He probably painted the Portrait of Prince Shokotu before 1351, a work that has since disappeared, whilst his ...



Japanese, 11th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 11th century.


Enkai was a Buddhist monk from Mount Shigi near Nara. He was one of the first ­sculptors to use the yosegi (joined-wood) style of carving, whereby monumental sculp­- tures were made from several different blocks of wood that had been carved separately and then put together. Until that time, these large wooden figures had been carved using the ichiboku technique, meaning out of a single block of wood. Enkai’s famous seated statue of ...



Japanese, 15th century, male.

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

Born 1504; died 1520.


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 ...



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.



Chinese, 9th – 10th century, male.

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


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’....



Korean, 6th century, male.


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....