Past Exhibitions

Painters at Tōfuku-ji: Minchō and Ryōsen
June 9, 2015 - July 5, 2015

Tōfuku-ji, counted as one of the five great Rinzai Zen temples of Kyoto, was home to monks and painters who worked in unique styles during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). The most famous among them is Minchō (1352-1431). Born on the island of Awaji, he came to Kyoto at an early age and studied Zen under Daidō Ichii (28th chief priest of Tōfuku-ji) while producing Buddhist paintings and portraits for use at the temple. Earlier, another Zen monk and painter active at the temple was Ryōsen (birth and death dates unknown), thought to be from Kyūshū and to have accompanied Kenpō Shidon (17th chief priest of Tōfuku-ji) to Kyoto and entered the temple. While Mincho's brushwork is loose and bold, Ryōsen was adept at minute detail, and based on his style it is likely that he was a specialist priest-painter. Here we present some of the finest examples of paintings by the two.

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