Toyo Sesshu

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  • Topic: Ink and wash painting, Mountain, Mountains
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  • Published : January 15, 2012
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Toyo Sesshu
Ama no Hashidate
Landscape of Mountain and Sandbar

“Ama no Hashidate, Landscape of Mountain and Sandbar” (King & Chilvers, 2008, p. 188) was the masterpiece of Toyo Sesshu. Painted in 1465, this piece was created in the style known as “haboku” or broken ink. At a young age Sesshu was trained in the tradition of Chinese ink painting and later became a Buddhist monk. When his training was completed, he left China and returned to his native land. Once there he would produce such paintings as the “Winter Landscape” (King & Chilvers, 2008, p. 188) and (Landscape of the Four Seasons” (Rumsey, 2004). His values as a Buddhist monk would reveal itself in his art. Keeping true to this style he would influence other artists such as Kano Eitoku, Sen no Rikyu, and Hasagawa Tohaku (King & Chilvers, 2008, p. 189) Ama no Hashidate

Landscape of Mountain and Sandbar
“Ama no Hashidate, Landscape of Mountain and Sandbar” was a masterpiece of Toyo Sesshu a Japanese artist specializing in a style known as “haboku”, or broken ink. In this piece, produced in 1465 (King & Chilvers, 2008, p. 188), Sesshu uses ink in various line widths to convey his style and ideas. He creates a land locked bay where the mountains are in the immediate foreground and the background. Between the two mountain ranges a shallow bay exists and is divided by a line of trees that stretches to a small hilly island with at least one dwelling. The majestic mountain range overshadows many of the smaller homes and villages in the middle of the scene. This pattern suggests that Sesshu carefully planned this work, including details, such as the drift wood floating in the bay to convey a sense of harmony and tranquility. The scene is peaceful and soothing to the eye and employs the Buddhist concept of “Right Mindfulness”, or seeing things simply the way they are (Knierim, 2009).

The level of detail in this particular art piece suggests that he may have visited this site....
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