early to mid-1600s
(Japanese, c. 1570-c. 1640)
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Image: 95.8 x 38.7 cm (37 11/16 x 15 1/4 in.); Overall: 187.3 x 50.8 cm (73 3/4 x 20 in.)
Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 1958.289
This painting is based on the 1602 illustrated publication Marvelous Traces of Immortals and Buddhas (Chinese: Xianfo qizong).
Tawaraya Sōtatsu’s painting was inspired by a 1602 Chinese book that featured images of legendary Chinese Buddhist experts and Daoist sages. The monk portrayed here is Niaoge, which literally means “Bird’s Nest.” He was a Zen practitioner who favored the isolation of treetops, from which he offered advice to the perplexed. The posture of the single figure suggests a dialogue with someone below. Sōtatsu was a master of the “boneless” (mokkotsu), or un-outlined, style of ink painting that relies on layered pools of ink wash for effect.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.