Fenggan, Hanshan, and Shide

Reisai Japanese

Not on view

From their perch on a rocky precipice, three figures look out over clouds rising from a valley below. At left are Hanshan and Shide (Japanese: Kanzan and Jittoku), Chan (Japanese: Zen) monks who held low-level positions at Guoqingsi, a temple on China’s Mount Tiantai. The reclusive monk-poet Hanshan, shown carrying a bucket, was said to have gathered leftover food from the temple kitchen, where he worked. Shide holds a broom indicating his role as the temple janitor. The older, contemplative figure at right is their teacher Fenggan (Japanese: Bukan) who lived, according to legend, with a pet tiger, easily overlooked as he naps by a rock. Although these paintings—once the flanking scrolls of an iconic triptych—bear no seals or signatures, they have long been attributed to Reisai based on style. Reisai was a follower of Kichizan Minchō (1352–1431), an artist active in the painting atelier of the Zen monastery Tōfukuji in Kyoto.

Fenggan, Hanshan, and Shide, Reisai (Japanese, active ca. 1430–50), Pair of hanging scrolls; ink and color on paper, Japan

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