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Article

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.

Article

Chinese, 14th century, male.

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

Painter.

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

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1877; died 1970.

Painter, calligrapher.

Shunkai Bundo was a monk of the Buddhist Tendai sect and a member of the Japan Art Academy.

New York, 27 April 1994: Universal Brother­hood and International Peace (hanging scroll in a casket of wood, ink on paper...

Article

Chinese, 17th century, male.

Painter. Figures.

Chen Xian worked for the Huangbo sect around 1635-1675. He painted many Buddhist figures.

Article

Dapeng  

Chinese, 18th century, male.

Active at the beginning of the 18th century.

Painter.

Dapeng was a Buddhist monk and finger painter who specialised in painting bamboo. He travelled to Japan in 1722.

Article

Chinese, 18th century, male.

Painter.

Qing dynasty.

Ding Guanpeng worked in the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1796). He painted mainly Buddhist and Taoist figures in the style of Ding Yunpeng (active c.1584-1638). He also produced elegant copies after the ancient masters. His very wide use of colour suggests some western influence, which he no doubt learned from one or other of the Jesuit artists at Qianlong’s court....

Article

Chinese, 14th century, male.

Born in Qiantang (Zhejiang).

Monk-painter.

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

Article

Chinese, 17th century, male.

Born in Jiaxing (Zhejiang).

Painter. Figures, landscapes.

Ding Yuangong was active at the beginning of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). He later became a Buddhist monk.

London (British Mus.): Hermit in Red Robe on Mountain Ledge (album leaf, signed...

Article

Chinese, 16th – 17th century, male.

Born 1547, in Xiuning (Anhui); died after 1628.

Painter. Figures, landscapes.

Ding Yunpeng painted mainly Buddhist and Taoist figures in the style of the Tang painters Wu Daozi (active c.720-760) and Li Longmian, notably in his way of outlining with the brush. He was connected with the painter Dong Qichang (...

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

Eiga  

Japanese, 14th century, male.

Active 1350-1395.

Painter.

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 ...

Article

Enkai  

Japanese, 11th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 11th century.

Sculptor.

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 ...

Article

Enku  

Japanese, 17th century, male.

Born c. 1628, in Gifu Prefecture; died 1695, in Miroku-ji temple, Gifu Prefecture.

Monk-sculptor.

Little is known about the birthplace and life of Enku, a Tendai Buddhist monk, except that he travelled the country widely, sculpting on popular demand, and that his works are in fact a form of devotion. The immense amount of work he produced (he vowed to produce 120,000 pieces) stands apart from traditional Buddhist sculpture of the time. His prolific output was fired by a deep faith; he worked with great speed using a billhook and knife, taking into account the veins in the wood in order to respect its true nature. His works exude an undeniable serenity. They are to be found in numerous temples, most particularly in the regions of Mino and Hida (Gifu province) where he often stayed, but also on the northern island of Hokkaido, where he was to be found between ...

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

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....