1-18 of 18 results  for:

  • Buddhist Art x
  • 1400–1500 x
Clear all


Erberto F. Lo Bue

[Skt Bodhnāthā; Newari Khāstī; Tib. Bya-rung-kha-shor]

Stupa site 7 km east of Kathmandu, Nepal. The stupa (h. 45 m, diam. 90 m) is the largest of its kind in the Kathmandu Valley. Its great plinth consists of three broad terraces of intersected squares and rectangles forming a platform of 20 angles (Skt viṃśatikona), one of the canonical forms prescribed by the Kriyāsaṃgraha. The dome has a hemispherical shape; its base is decorated by a series of stone images framed in small niches.

Newar chronicles ascribe the construction of the stupa at Bodhnath to the Lichchhavi king Manadeva I (reg c. ad 464–505). The original mound subsequently fell into a state of neglect and, according to later Tibetan tradition, the site became a cemetery. The stupa is mentioned again in the 14th-century Tibetan religious epic Padma thang-yig in connection with events taking place in the second half of the 8th century ad. It was excavated and entirely rebuilt by the Tibetan master ...


Masatomo Kawai


(d 1492).

Japanese painter and Zen monk. He was a close disciple of Ikkyū Sōjun, the Zen abbot of Daitokuji in Kyoto. After Ikkyū’s death, Bokusai compiled his master’s biography, and he became first-generation head of Shūon’an in Takigi (Tanabe, Kyoto Prefect.), the mortuary temple Ikkyū built for himself. In 1491 Bokusai built ...


Masatomo Kawai


(1348–c. 1420).

Japanese Zen monk, scholar, calligrapher, poet and painter. He began his training as a monk at Nanzenji in Kyoto, under Shun’oku Myōha, the nephew and disciple of Musō Sōseki, one of the leading Zen prelates of the Muromachi period (1333–1568). His other teachers included the Zen recluse Shakushitsu Genkō and Gidō Shūshin, under whom he studied literature. A trusted adviser of the fourth Ashikaga shogun, Yoshimochi, Gyokuen was appointed to the prestigious abbacies of Kenninji (c. 1409) and Nanzenji (1413) in Kyoto. His true wish, however, was to retire from the world, and in 1420, after a disagreement with Yoshimochi, he left Kyoto to lead a life of seclusion. An accomplished poet, Gyokuen also brushed colophons on many shigajiku (poem-painting scrolls) of the period, including Josetsu’s Catching a Catfish with a Gourd (c. 1413–15; Kyoto, Myōshinji). His own painting, which shows the influence of the mid-14th-century Chinese priest–painter Xue Chuang and of Tesshū Tokusai, strongly reflects his literary disposition. He is especially well known for his subdued monochrome ink paintings of orchids (emblems of moral virtue), 30 of which have survived (...



Ken Brown

[Kor. Mun-ch’ŏng]

(fl c. 1450–60).

Zen monk and ink painter, active in Japan. He may have come to Japan from Korea, where his work is also known: a couple of paintings in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul bear his seal. Moreover, some of his extant landscapes in Japan were done in Korean style. His seal, which appears on only a handful of paintings, is similar to that used by Josetsu, with whom until the mid-20th century he was sometimes confused. Bunsei is thought to have worked at Daitokuji in Kyoto.

Bunsei’s extant works suggest the influence of Tenshō Shūbun. They show a range of subjects, including several landscapes (Osaka, Masaki A. Mus.; Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.), a portrait of Abbot Yosō of Daitokuji (1452) and the popular ecumenical subject Three Laughers of the Tiger Ravine (Powers priv. col.). Bunsei’s masterpiece is a painting of the famous Buddhist Layman Yuima (1457...


J. Marr and Christopher Tadgell

[Daulatābād; anc. Devagiri, Deogiri]

Fortress site in central Maharashtra, India, a key link in the chain of forts that once controlled the Deccan. The conical mountain of granite, rising over 180 m, was originally a Buddhist monastic site; some of its excavated shrines were incorporated into the earliest defences, which were probably created in the 9th century ad by a feudatory of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. In 1187, the Yadava king Billama V (reg 1185–93) made Devagiri his capital, after which a succession of dynasties vied for its control. Devagiri first fell in 1293 to the powerful Sultanate armies of ‛Ala al-Din Khalji (reg 1296–1316). The Jami‛ Masjid (congregational mosque) was founded in 1318; recycled temple pillars figure in its construction. After the Tughluq dynasty took control of the Sultanate in 1320, they continued a policy of expansion into the Deccan. In 1328, feeling that Delhi was too far from his military operations, Muhammad Tughluq (...



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 ...



Barry Till

[rgyal rtse; Gyangzê]

Fourth largest city in Tibet, strategically located between Lhasa and Shigatse along the caravan route to India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Gyantse is most famous for its fortress citadel, or Dzong, and its lamasery. The 15th-century fortress, situated on a hill overlooking the town, served as an effective buffer against invasions from the south for centuries until 1904, when it was partially destroyed and conquered by British forces led by Francis Younghusband. It suffered further damage by the Chinese in the 1960s. Although in poor condition, the fort still has significant traces of ancient wall paintings.

The complex of buildings within the old walls at Gyantse, often referred to as the Palkhor Choide or Pelkor Chode (dpal ‘khor chos sde) Lamasery, was founded in 1418 by Rabten Kunsang (1389–1442), a follower of Khedrup Je (1385–1438), himself a disciple of Tsong Khapa (1357–1419), the founder of the Gelugpa sect. The monastic complex was formerly much more extensive, but a number of buildings were dismantled during the 1960s. The main buildings have survived relatively intact, however. Chief among these and one of the most impressive buildings in all of Tibet is the ...


Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan

[Hōryū Gakumonji; Wakakusadera; Ikaruga no Tera]

Buddhist temple complex at Ikaruga, Ikoma District, Nara Prefecture, Japan.

Hōryūji is one of the oldest temples in Japan and is the head temple of the Shōtoku sect. Founded in the late 6th century ad by the regent, Prince Prince Shōtoku, and refounded in the late 7th century, it became a leading centre for Buddhist scholarship and the focus of the cult of its founder. Since the early 8th century Hōryūji has been listed as the most ancient of the Seven Great Temples of Nara (Nanto Shichidaiji). The complex occupies c. 9 ha of flat land south-west of Nara and is divided into two precincts: the Sai’in (Western Precinct), often referred to as ‘Hōryūji proper’, and the Tō’in (Eastern Precinct), known officially as Jōguōden (Halls of the Lord of the Superior Palace).

The buildings at Hōryūji include wooden structures of the late 7th century ad and the early 8th, which are the oldest surviving examples of their kind in Japan and are of prime importance for an understanding of the origins of ...



Karen L. Brock

(fl c. 1405–23).

Japanese painter and Zen monk. Contemporary biographical information about Josetsu is limited to two references. A brief entry dated 1448 in the diary of the Onryōken, a subtemple of Shōkokuji in Kyoto, mentions that in around 1416 Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi consulted with Josetsu about going to the island of Shikoku in search of stone for the carving of a stele in commemoration of Shōkokuji’s founder, Musō Soseki. The entry makes no mention of Josetsu as a painter, but it suggests his acquaintance with Yoshimochi and an association with Shōkokuji, which was an important centre in the development of ink painting in the Muromachi period (1333–1568) (see Japan §VI 4., (iii)). A colophon by the otherwise unknown Kanjōsō on Josetsu’s Sankyōzu (‘The three doctrines’; Kyoto, Ryōsokuin) states that the painting is by ‘[Jo]Setsu’ (clumsy-like), and that the painter was given this name by Zekkai Chūshin (1336–1405...


Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan

[Kinbusenji; Kinrinji; Kinrinnōji; Zaōdō]

Japanese Buddhist temple complex in the district of Yoshino, Nara Prefecture. It lies in the Kinpusen, a chain of foothills that extends between the Yoshino and Ōmine mountains.

Kinpusenji was traditionally founded by the semi-legendary ascetic En no Ozunu (En no Gyōja; fl late 7th century ad–early 8th), but it was more probably established later in the 8th century as a seat for the increasingly popular ascetic movement, Shugendō. It may have been founded by Gyōki (ad 668–749), a monk from the temple Tōdaiji in Nara. With the arrival in Kinpusen of Shōbō (ad 832–909), a Shingon-sect monk who founded Daigoji, Kinpusenji emerged as the centre of Shugendō (see Japan §II 7.), an eclectic form of worship that combines elements of Shinto and Esoteric Buddhism, notably mountain worship and asceticism. It is said that the ferocious Zaō Gongen, the tutelary deity of Shugendō—believed by devotees to be capable of suppressing all evil—appeared in the Kinpusen, and he was chosen by En no Ozunu as the appropriate form of the historical Buddha (Jap. Shaka; Skt Shakyamuni) for manifestation among men; the famous cherry trees of the Yoshino Mountains are still believed to be the sacred abode of Zaō Gongen. The present temple is a modest ensemble of about 40 buildings, mostly modern reconstructions, covering ...


Ma Jun  

Chinese, 15th century, male.

Born in Jiading (Jiangsu).


Ma Jun painted Buddhist figures as well as landscapes in the styles of the Tang and Song masters.


Nicole Fabricand-Person

[Kichizan, Kitsuzan; Hasōhai]

(b Awajishima [now in Hyōgo Prefect.], 1351; d Kyoto, 1431).

Japanese Zen monk and painter. Active during the Muromachi period (1333–1568), he became superintendent in charge of the monastic buildings and the head of a leading painting workshop at the temple Tōfukuji in Kyoto at a time when Chinese ink-painting techniques, brought to Japan by Buddhist monks from the 13th century onwards, were being adapted by Japanese artists (see Japan, §VI, 4, (iii)). Minchō’s painting epitomizes the early stages of this turning-point. Works attributed to Minchō range from conservative Buddhist paintings in colour to secular landscape compositions executed in the new ink-painting technique (suibokuga). He is especially known, however, for those of his paintings that bridge these two styles.

A conservative Buddhist painting style characterized Minchō’s early works. The Gohyaku rakan (‘Five hundred arhats’; 50 hanging scrolls; c. 1386; Tokyo, Nezu A. Mus. and Kyoto, Tōfukuji), for example, are typical of the carefully coloured paintings on silk associated with professional Buddhist painters (...


Gennifer Weisenfeld

(b Bitchū [now Okayama Prefect.], 1420; d 1506).

Japanese Zen monk and painter.

Sesshū began his religious training as an acolyte attending to the eminent Zen master Shunrin Shūtō (d 1463); he is known to have been in Kyoto by 1430. Records show him also to have been a disciple of the prominent monk Ryūko Shinkei (fl c. 1433–62) at the Zen temple Shōkokuji in Kyoto. Later in his career, Sesshū held the temple post of shika (official greeter of guests). He is considered one of the two most accomplished ink-painting (suibokuga) students of Tenshō Shūbun, the official painter to the shogunate at Shōkokuji. He later chose the characters of his (art name) Sesshū to refer to Josetsu, Shūbun’s teacher, and to Shūbun himself, in an effort to inscribe himself in this illustrious ink-painting lineage. After Shūbun’s retirement or death in 1463, however, he was replaced by his other main disciple, ...


Ken Brown

[Sekkei; Hinrakusai; Gen’ei]

(b Utsunomiya, Shimotsuke Prov. [now Tochigi Prefect.]; fl c. 1478–1506; d c. 1518).

Japanese Zen priest and painter. A scribe at Kenchōji in Kamakura, he is often called Kei shoki (‘Clerk Kei’). He first studied painting with Chūan Shinkō (fl c. 1444–57) at Kenchōji, then journeyed to Kyoto in 1478 to study with Shingei Geiami (see Ami family, §2). In 1480 he returned to Kamakura with Geiami’s Kanbakuzu (‘Viewing a Waterfall’; 1480; Tokyo, Nezu A. Mus.), given to him by the artist as a parting gift. Shōkei’s training with Shinkō and Geiami, as well as his exposure in Kyoto to Chinese Song (ad 960–1279) and Yuan-period (1279–1368) painting in the shogunal collection, led him to paint in a remarkable range of styles. Shōkei’s Umazu (‘Horses and Grooms’; Tokyo, Nezu. A. Mus.), for instance, reflects his intimate knowledge of the Yuan painter Ren Renfas works on the same subject. He is also often associated with the stylistic tradition of ...


Gennifer Weisenfeld


(fl c. 1418–63).

Japanese Zen monk and ink painter.

Shūbun served as the official painter to the shogunate during the Muromachi period (1333–1568) at Shōkokuji, one of the gozan (‘five mountains’) hierarchy of Zen temples in Kyoto, which were both cultural centres and adjuncts to shogunal control (Shōkokuji was the temple most intimately associated with the shogun). Shūbun worked principally under the Ashikaga shoguns Yoshimochi (1386–1428), Yoshinori (1394–1441) and Yoshimasa (1436–90), avid patrons of the arts; he held concurrently the administrative position of tsukan (comptroller of the budget). Shūbun is known principally for his monochromatic ink paintings (suibokuga) modelled after Southern Song Chinese (1127–1279) painting, but his duties reputedly also included Buddhist iconic painting and sculpture. Shūbun’s name first appears in Korean records of a Japanese diplomatic mission sent to Korea by the shogunate in 1423 to obtain copies of Buddhist texts. However, he is known more for the illustrious and stylistically distinctive ink landscape painting school associated with his name than as a historical individual....


Helmut Brinker


(b Kyoto, 1394; d Kyoto, 1481).

Japanese Zen Buddhist priest, poet, calligrapher and painter. He was one of the most unconventional figures in 15th-century Japan, an uncompromising critic of the Zen establishment, both in his poems, religious statements, paintings and calligraphic works and in his eccentric conduct that sometimes verged on the manic. Kyōun (‘Crazy Cloud’), his self-mocking sobriquet, is rich in literary connotations and emphasizes his non-attachment to the world, the essential requirement of a committed Zen monk. His famous manuscript of the Chinese verses named Kyōunshū (‘Crazy Cloud anthology’) reveals Ikkyū’s unique literary genius and also his mercurial temperament. According to the Ikkyū Oshō nenpu (‘Chronicle of Reverend Ikkyū’), which is thought to have been compiled shortly after the master’s death by his disciple Shōtō Bokusai, he was the illegitimate son of Emperor GoKomatsu (reg 1382–1412) and a woman of a branch of the Fujiwara clan, connected with the rival southern court, who was dismissed from the imperial household before her child was born. Although Ikkyū was never recognized as the offspring of an emperor, GoKomatsu received him twice in audience. At the age of five Ikkyū was sent to Ankokuji, a temple in the province of Yamashiro (now part of Kyoto), where he began his training as a Zen monk. In ...


Ken Brown

[Sukeshige; Kojirō; Jiboku]

(b 1413; d 1481).

Japanese Zen monk and painter. He was ordained at the age of 30 at the temple Shōkokuji in Heian (now Kyoto). Although no extant paintings can be certainly attributed to Sōtan, his biography suggests that he was one of the more important painters of the mid-15th century in Japan. He was renowned in his lifetime for his ink paintings (suibokuga), and for his polychrome bird-and-flower paintings (kachōga), which, according to contemporary records and works assigned to Sōtan, were remarkable for their animation and their vibrant colours. Records of the Ashikaga shogunate (Muromachi period: 1333–1568) show that he was retained by the shogunate as a semi-professional artist and that in 1463 he took over the official stipend previously paid to his teacher, Tenshō Shūbun, of Shōkokuji. Other documents reveal that he received commissions to paint fusuma (sliding-door panels) at a number of temples and villas in the 1460s and 1470s. Sōtan is supposed to have worked in the manner of Shūbun as well as in the broad, ‘boneless’ (Jap. ...



Henrik H. Sørensen

[mtho gling; now Zanda]

First capital city of the kingdom of Guge, situated in the Sutlej Valley to the east of Tsaparang, western Tibet. It was founded c. ad 900. The largest and most important of Tholing’s temples—their original Tibetan names are unknown—is the so-called Red Temple, a typical structure with a two-storey main building and lower side buildings surrounded by high walls, located in the middle of the town. It was in this sanctuary that the Indian master Atisha (982–1054) and the Tibetan monk Rinchen Sangpo (958–1055) lived and did most of their writings and translations. Finely executed wall paintings dating to c. the 15th century, stylistically bearing some resemblance to slightly earlier Nepalese Buddhist paintings, can be found on the walls inside the main chapel. The White Temple, opposite the Red Temple, has been officially closed since 1966, but most of its art is still untouched. Half the wall paintings have been damaged by leaking water, but those left are of superior quality and include images of the goddesses Prajnaparamita and Tara, and of Tsong Khapa (...