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Willow-and-Moon Kannon

Willow-and-Moon Kannon

about 1500

attributed to Gakuō Zōkyū

(Japanese, active about 1482–1514)

Hanging scroll; ink on paper

Overall with knobs: 207 x 67.9 cm (81 1/2 x 26 3/4 in.); Painting only: 104.8 x 44 cm (41 1/4 x 17 5/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1985.110

Fun Fact

Kannon is a bodhisattva—a being capable of enlightenment, but who delays it in order to help other beings.

Description

This painting of Kannon, a Buddhist deity of mercy and compassion with many forms. is attributed to Gakuō Zōkyū, a well-known Zen monk who specialized in ink painting. Kannon looks at the moon reflected in the water, a symbol of impermanence, and holds a willow branch and water vase symbolizing healing and purification.

See also
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Painting

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