Apr 11, 2006

Haboku (Flung-ink) Landscape

Haboku (Flung-ink) Landscape

c. 1510

Shūgetsu Tōkan 秋月 等観

(Japanese, 1440?-1529)

Hanging scroll; ink on paper

Image: 59.5 x 26.9 cm (23 7/16 x 10 9/16 in.); Overall: 151.1 x 40.6 cm (59 1/2 x 16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1976.59



This vague but energetically rendered landscape highlights the brush: the messenger for a moment’s emotional or spiritual state. The painting represents one of many subjects and styles Shugetsu studied and absorbed from the great practitioners of Ming-dynasty China in the late 1400s and early 1500s. The technique of "flung ink," or haboku, disguises purposeful composition as an almost random, distracted series of brushstrokes. Close inspection reveals tonalities and strokes brushed onto a soft, absorbent paper in a range from heavy and wet to crisp ink charges. Not surprisingly, amateur and professional Zen monk-painters favored this "impressionistic" style as an exercise in seeing meaningful detail slowly emerge from what at first seems unclear.

See also

Contact us

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 collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

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.