Shūhan Genpō 宗般玄芳 (1848-1922)

Ensō Circle

Inv. Nr.  #17.003
Date Early 20th C.
Material Ink on paper
Dimensions H 124 (37) x W 40 (37) cm

Comes with fitted wooden box.

Price: EUR 4,200

A very delicate, thin ensō painting from the brush of the head monk of the 468th Daitoku-ji temple, Shūhan Genpō (1848-1922). Shūhan Genpō, often misleadingly referred to as Sohan Genpō in English transcriptions, is perhaps better known by his Zen master name, Shōun 松雲, which means "Pine Cloud," and with which he often signed his works such as this one. As a leading student of the famous Nakahara Nantenbō (1839-1925), Shūhan Genpō was a skilled calligrapher and painter who created many zenga.


This ensō may have influenced the work of Jiro Yoshihara (1905-1972), one of the leading figures of the Japanese postwar Gutai movement, who also painted a very similar thin ensō in oil on canvas.



Art Gallery of New South Wales: Zen Mind, Zen Brush. Japanese Ink Paintings from the Gitter-Yelen Collection, 2006, p. 120.