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Catching the Ox
赤脚子筆 得牛図 室町時代 紙本墨画
Date: approx. 1400-1450
Historical Period: Muromachi period (1392-1573)
Object Name: Hanging scroll
Materials: Ink on paper
Dimensions: H. 18 7/8 in x W. 9 1/8 in, H. 47.9 cm x W. 23.2 cm (image); H. 53 1/8 in x W. 14 1/8 in, H. 135.0 cm x W. 36.0 cm (overall)
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Ney-Wolfskill Fund
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B69D46
On Display: No

Description

Label:

With all his strength, a herder boy grasps the horns of a massive ox. In an attempt to mount the beast, the boy steps on the ox's neck to hold its head to the ground. The painting expresses the Zen message that enlightenment is attained through struggle. Here, the animal represents the unenlightened state, in which the mind rampages like an unruly ox. Zen meditation would catch the ox of the mind by means of religious discipline.

Paintings known as the "Ten Ox Pictures" were popular and inspirational teaching materials. This painting illustrates the fourth of the ten stages of attaining enlightenment. Sekkyakushi, a Zen monk, was a pioneer of Zen ink painting.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Japanese Paintings from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (Nikkei), Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (3/2/1995-4/9/1995), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (4/20/1995-5/9/1995), Takashimaya Grand Hall, Kyoto (6/30/1995-7/11/1995), Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama (8/2/1995-9/17/1995)
"For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Japan Society, New York, 3/22/2000 - 7/9/2000
Label:

With all his strength, a herder boy grasps the horns of a massive ox. In an attempt to mount the beast, the boy steps on the ox's neck to hold its head to the ground. The painting expresses the Zen message that enlightenment is attained through struggle. Here, the animal represents the unenlightened state, in which the mind rampages like an unruly ox. Zen meditation would catch the ox of the mind by means of religious discipline.

Paintings known as the "Ten Ox Pictures" were popular and inspirational teaching materials. This painting illustrates the fourth of the ten stages of attaining enlightenment. Sekkyakushi, a Zen monk, was a pioneer of Zen ink painting.


Exhibition History: "Japanese Paintings from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (Nikkei), Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (3/2/1995-4/9/1995), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (4/20/1995-5/9/1995), Takashimaya Grand Hall, Kyoto (6/30/1995-7/11/1995), Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama (8/2/1995-9/17/1995)
"For the New Century: Japanese Treasures from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Japan Society, New York, 3/22/2000 - 7/9/2000