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Chinese Literatus in an Autumn Landscape

Chinese Literatus in an Autumn Landscape

late 1400s

Josui Sōen

(Japanese, active c. 1489-1500)

Hanging scroll, ink on paper

Mounted: 111 x 56.2 cm (43 11/16 x 22 1/8 in.)

Gift from the Collection of George Gund III 2015.467

Description

In this painting, Sesshū Tōyō’s disciple Sōen depicts a Chinese scholar-official astride a donkey with his attendant behind. Framing their passage on the right side of the scene are two bare willows, and on the left, geese in flight, the cries of which capture the pair’s attention. These elements suggest that the season is late autumn. Sōen, who famously received Sesshū’s 1495 Splashed-ink Landscape as a certificate of his success as a pupil, studied with the master in Suō, presentday Yamaguchi, after which he returned to his native province in the Kanto region.

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