May 26, 2009
May 26, 2009

Monk Mending Clothes in the Morning Sun (Chōyō Hotetsuzu)

Monk Mending Clothes in the Morning Sun (Chōyō Hotetsuzu)


c. 1350

Hanging scroll, ink on paper

Image: 84.3 x 35.2 cm (33 3/16 x 13 7/8 in.); Overall: 168.5 x 47.7 cm (66 5/16 x 18 3/4 in.); with knobs: 168.5 x 52 cm (66 5/16 x 20 1/2 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1962.163



This painting illustrates the Zen ideal of cultivating one’s spirit through all moments of life, from the mundane to the marvelous. The monk pictured is simply mending his robes, but it is a meditative activity. A “mending clothes” image would typically form a pair with another on the theme of “reading by moonlight.” While the seals on the painting were added at a later date, similar seals appear on other ink figures and bird-and-flower compositions.

See also
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 

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