Sesson: A Singular Painter

㈰ 雪村筆《呂洞賓図》 重要文化財

Born Heizo Satake in Hitachi province (modern-day Ibaraki), Buddhist monk and self-taught painter Sesson Shukei (1504-1589) was an enigmatic artist in a troubled era. While various warlords battled for supremacy around Japan's provinces in the 16th century, fine art centred on the imperial capital of Kyoto – far from Sesson's native Tohoku. Nevertheless, this master of suiboku-ga ('water ink') pioneered a style all of his own, paving the way for later contrarians such as Edo-era Muromachi revivalist Soga Shohaku, the now wildly popular Ito Jakuchu and ukiyo-e titan Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Here you'll see around 100 of Sesson's representative pieces, many of them inspired by his travels from Kamakura in the south to Oshu up north in Iwate, plus a selection of works by Kano school painters such as Gaho Hashimoto and Hogai Kano – both of whom were influenced by Sesson.

Note that some of the displayed pieces will be switched around during the exhibition period.


Event phone: 03-5777-8600
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