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Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi / Thierry Ollivier

Bodhidharma, Founder of Zen Buddhism

1602-1674

Kano Tan’yu


The Kanō school, one of the most influential artistic movements inspired by Zen in Japan, is characterised by the importance attached to the movement of the brush, the predominance of ink over colour and the choice of subjects, primarily portraits of Zen patriarchs or landscapes. Bodhidharma, one of the founders of Zen, is portrayed here by Kanō Tan’yū (1602−1674), a great Japanese artist of the 17th century. The portrait astonishes by the simplicity with which the monk’s habit is suggested in a few powerful strokes, which contrasts with the intensity of his expression. The inscription in cursive calligraphy is by the Chinese monk Yinyuan Longqi (1592−1663), the founder of the Obaku sect, a major school of Japanese Zen. The signature on the painting indicates that it was an official commission for the shogun Tokugawa.

Artwork Details

Artist: Kano Tan’yu
Title: Bodhidharma, Founder of Zen Buddhism
Geography: Japan
Date: 1602-1674

Medium: ink and colour on silk

Classification: graphic arts (drawing, painting, engraving, calligraphy)
Dimensions: 223.5 x 92.5 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2011.016
Contact for images : images@louvreabudhabi.ae
Permalink : www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/art/collections/bodhidharma

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