Bambus | Sesson Shūkei 雪村周継 | 1504-1589 (?)

Bamboo | Sesson Shūkei 雪村周継 | 1504-1589 (?)

Sesson is one of the great classics of the late Muromachi period. He was himself a Zen monk and, like his revered master Sesshū舟 (from whom he also borrowed the first character in his name), studied Chinese painting of the Sung period (960-1279). However, he cultivated a somewhat more elegant, softer style than his role model.

This bamboo picture is impressive due to its monumental simplicity. The cascades of leaves are captured in two clearly separated ink intensities, which increases the visual impact. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the group of bamboo in the back, obscured by the rain falling diagonally into the picture at the top left, has many shades of grey. Its intended dimness is given a profile (one might almost say a "skeleton") by fine black twigs, which give this dreamy-looking abundance of leaves a physicality.

The group of stones at the bottom of the picture, formulated with impressive gestures (which only reveals through small bushes that it is not a mountain landscape in miniature) underlines the magnificent appearance of the three bamboo perennials with their contrasting foliage.

The mounting is old (approx. 17th century), magnificent and in good condition. The seals are trustworthy. However, they are very marginal, which suggests that the image was once cropped, as is not uncommon with very old scroll paintings.

Dimensions: 52cm x 194cm | Material: Paper

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