Past Exhibitions

Legends of the Shakyamuni Hall (Shakadō Engi)
June 12, 2018 - July 8, 2018

This set of handscrolls details the history and miracles associated with a famous sculpture of the Buddha Shakyamuni, which is still worshiped today in Seiryō-ji Temple in western Kyoto. Legend has it that the sculpture was brought back from China by the priest Chōnen (938–1016) together with Buddhist teachings.
The handscrolls are attributed to Kano Motonobu (1477?–1559), the second generation head of the Kano school. This attribution is borne out by the brushstrokes and intricate composition. The text sections are thought to have been scribed by a priest-poet named Jōhōji Kōjo (1453–1538).
Motonobu is best known for his Chinese-influenced monochrome ink paintings in the medieval mode, but these scrolls show that he was also producing excellent work in the Japanese-style yamato-e genre—making them a sort of watershed in the history of Kano school painting and a key to understanding the transition from medieval to early modern Japanese painting.

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