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Article

T. I. Zeymal’

Buddhist monastery of the 7th century ad to first half of the 8th, in the valley of the Vakhsh River, 12 km east of Kurgan-Tyube, southern Tajikistan. During this early medieval period it belonged to Vakhsh (U-sha in Chinese sources), one of the 27 domains of Tokharistan. Excavations between ...

Article

Korean, 6th century, male.

Active in Japan from 597.

Painter.

Prince Asa was the son of the King of Paekche (Kudara in Japanese) and went to Japan in 597 during the reign of Empress Suiko. A portrait in Chinese style was formerly attributed to him. It represents Prince Shotoku (who lived from 573 to 622) and his two sons (Princes Eguri and Yamashiro). The source of the attribution is the biography of Prince Shokotu compiled by the monk Kenshin of the Horyu temple. However, the figures portrayed in the painting show similarities with the Chommmoryujo byobu (Screen with Beauty beneath a Tree) in the Shoso-in, Nara, and the murals in the tomb of the Tang Crown Prince Yide (706). The portrait of Prince Shokotu in fact dates from the 8th century and its attribution to Prince Asa is simply legend. The painting was in the Horyuji Yamato temple and belongs to the Imperial Family....

Article

Chinese, 8th – 9th century, male.

Active at the court of Chang’anc.785-802.

Painter.

Bian Luan was a painter of the Tang dynasty and the most important bird painter of his generation. All that remains of his work is one signed album leaf, Dove on a Branch...

Article

Chinese, 8th century, male.

Born in Kuaiji (Zhejiang).

Painter.

Chen Hong was introduced into the Tang court during the Kaiyuan period (713-742). He is known to have painted portraits of the emperors Xuanzong (713-756) and Suzong (756-762) and illustrations of imperial hunting parties.

Kansas City (Nelson-Atkins MA): ...

Article

Chinese, 8th century, male.

Painter. Animals.

Dai Song was a provincial official during the period when the painter Han Huang (723-787) was governor of the province of Zhejiang. He became his disciple. He is known for his buffaloes.

Berlin: Two Buffaloes near Wind-Blown Copse (...

Article

Dai Yi  

Chinese, 8th century, male.

Painter.

Dai Yi was the younger brother of the painter Dai Song. He was also known for his buffaloes.

Article

Chinese, 9th – 10th century, male.

Active during the second half of the 9th century.

Born 845, in Jiangsu Province; died after 930.

Painter.

In 880, Deng Changyu followed the Tang emperor Xizong to the land of Shu, where he settled. He specialised in birds and flowers and his works would serve as a model for Huang Quan (c. 900-965). His signed handscroll ...

Article

Doncho  

Korean, 7th century, male.

Active in the early 7th century.

Painter.

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 ...

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

Chinese, 7th century, male.

Painter.

Fan Zhangshou was an officer and painter, and a pupil of Zheng Sengyu (active 500-550). He painted scenes of country life and domestic animals.

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, 8th century, male.

Active in Jiangan (Shensi).

Born 723; died 787.

Painter.

Han Huang was governor of the Zhejiang province and first minister during the reign of the Tang emperor Dezong (reigned 780-785). He is known for his paintings of people and buffaloes.

Beijing (Palace Mus.): ...

Article

T. I. Zeymal’

Early medieval settlement, probably founded in the 2nd or 3rd century ad, on the western outskirts of the modern town of Kolhozabad in Tajikistan. The site, which has been excavated since 1956, has been identified as the main town in the Vakhsh domain (Chin. U-sha), one of the 27 domains in Tokharistan. Three periods in the history of the town have been identified: before the mid-6th century ...

Article

Japanese, 9th century, male.

Born 782; died 853.

Painter.

Kawanari is sometimes said to have been of Korean origin. He was painter to the Imperial court, an officer in the Imperial guard and is one of the great painters of the Heian period (794-1184...

Article

Japanese, 7th century, male.

Active in Nara in the early 7th century.

Of Korean origin.

Painter.

Komano-Kaseichi is listed as one of the artists on the inscription on the Tenjukoku Mandara, a pair of large embroideries in the Horyu-ji Monastery, Nara, dedicated to Prince Shotoku (592-622). It represents the paradise (Tenjukoku) to which the dead prince’s soul was supposed to have migrated....

Article

Japanese, 9th century, male.

Active during the second half of the 9th century.

Painter.

Founded in 886, the Bureau of Painting ( e-dokoro) of the Imperial Court became the focus of painting at Heian (now Kyoto). Soon the names of artists who were appreciated for their artistic talents and not merely as craftsmen begin to appear, and the name of Kose no Kanaoka is mentioned several times as Japan’s first genius of painting. Much respected by the scholars of his day, Kanaoka was asked by Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), statesman, scholar and poet, to paint a view of the imperial park and gardens in the years 868-872. This would suggest that on this occasion Kanaoka tried to render the gardens faithfully, while in other works he gave his imagination freer rein, painting scenes from Chinese texts on ritual screens. Kanaoka was also the founder of the Kose school, Japan’s first school of painting. There his descendants would succeed him as court painters, by the end of the 9th century developing a distinctively Japanese style of painting....

Article

Kukai  

Japanese, 8th – 9th century, male.

Born 774, in Boyobugaura; died 22 April 835.

Painter, calligrapher, poet.

Kukai was a priest and founder of Shingon (‘true word’) esoteric Buddhism in Japan. He is best known as Kobo Daishi (‘propagator of the Dharma’), his posthumous name. He founded temples in Nara on Mount Koya and the Toji temple complex outside Kyoto. After a lengthy visit to China, Kukai brought back techniques that were to have an important influence on the birth of Japanese art....

Article

Japanese, 8th century, male.

Died 774.

Sculptor.

Late Nara (Tempyo Period 710-794).

Article

Japanese, 7th century, male.

Active at the beginning of the 7th century.

Sculptor.