The Chinese mythology of the Xian is seen in Japan as a classic model for the Japanese paintings of Sennin. Sennin are holy men who live in harmony with nature, they are friends and companions of wild creatures because of their spiritual core of harmony with the universe. There is a book in the Edo Period that talks about five hundred sennin but for most people, there are eight that are popular and significant. In one of the screens, we see a sennin with his dragon rising into the heavens. The other sennin with various creatures, real and mythological, are shown in various poses created with the spontaneous and brilliant brushwork of Shohaku. The brushwork is similar to the flights of line and bursts of ink explosions, creating an expressive movement in negative space.
Edo Period, 18th Century, circa 1760
Paintings by this artist of similar subject matter are in the collection of the Kyoto National Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Tokyo National Museum.
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