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Sesshu

Sesshu (sĕs´shōō´), 1420–1506, foremost Japanese master of ink painting (suiboku) and Zen Buddhist priest, also known as Sesshu Toyo. He may have studied under Shubun in Kyoto. He made a trip to China (c.1467), visiting many Zen monasteries and studying the works of old masters. Adapting the Chinese style of landscape painting, he set the standard in ink painting for later Japanese artists. His brilliant, abstract interpretations of nature include the ink-splash landscape (1495) in the National Museum of Tokyo. Two sets of screens attributed to him are in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Freer Gallery, Washington, D.C.

See T. Nakamura, ed., Sesshu Toyo (1959); Sesshu's Long Scroll: a Zen Landscape Journey (1959).

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Sesshu Tōyō

Sesshu Tōyō (1420–1506). A major Japanese Zen painter, considered by many the greatest master. He entered a Zen monastery when 12 and was trained at Shōkokuji in Kyōto. The control of his brush and line are a perfect expression of Zen control. ‘The Four Seasons’ is usually singled out as his masterpiece, but ‘Landscape in the Broken Ink Style’ (ibid. 129) is an equally superb achievement.

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