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The Immortal Jurojin
Important Art Object

Sesshu (1420-?)
Japan, 15th-16th century@
H. 107.7 cm, W. 43.6 cm
Sesshu was a Zen priest of the late Muromachi period (1333-1573), who went to Ming-dynasty (1368-1644) China in the first year of the Onin era (1467) to study painting. His powerful, tense brush style and highly constructed composition is a masterpiece of early Japanese ink painting, which later greatly influenced the various schools of Chinese-style ink painting (J., kanga) in Japan. The background of the immortal Jurojin and his white deer is executed in a light ink wash, while his nimbus is delineated by the uncolored white paper. The deer's body and the immortal's robe, in harmony with the luminous nimbus, become one forming concentric circles. This hanging scroll was originally part of a triptych that belonged to the Kuroda clan, lords of Chikuzen Province (present-day Fukuoka Prefecture). The two accompanying paintings of landscapes are today in the collection of the University of Michigan. In addition to these works, the Kuroda clan had also owned Landscape of the Four Seasons, which is attributed to Sesshu and designated an Important Cultural Property, suggesting that Sesshu, who is thought to have gone to and from China via Fukuoka, may have produced these works in this area.

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Chinese Farewell Verse
Genre Scenes of Westerners
The Immortal Jurojin
Wu Huntress
Portraits of Thirty-six Immortal Poets
Jar with Ash Glaze, Sanage Ware
Tea Bowl, Named Jirobo, Raku Ware
Standing Buddha
Wide-Mouthed Jar
Buffalo-shaped Yi (Wine Container)
"Corpulent Woman" from Scroll of Diseases and Deformities
Tea Ceremony Kettle Made from Incense Burner, Old Ashiya Ware
Keko (Buddhist Flower Basket) with Openwork Hosoge Scrolls
Ikat Hanging with Design of Temples and Animals
Sarassa Hanging with Scene from the Tale of Krishna
Saddle with Wave Design in Mother-of-Pearl Inlay
Seated Maitreya Bodhisattva with One Leg Pendent
Mottled-glazed Bowl with Handle and Openwork Design
Gourd-shaped Jar with Flower-and-Bird Design
Mukozuke Bowls in Melon Shape with Underglaze-Iron and Copper
-Green Melon Design