Haku Raku soba 伯楽粗馬
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. Be Le assessing a horse. A Chinese painting subject of the 4c horse trainer named Be Le (Jp: Haku Raku 伯楽) who, ordered by the emperor to find the perfect horse, located such an animal and, when he returned, told the monarch of a fabulous bay mare. Attendants dispatched to retrieve the horse were surprised to find only a black stallion, but in his assessment Haku Raku had seen into the inner quality of the horse, rather than mere superficial details such as gender or colour. This Daoist parable on the importance of seeing beyond outward appearances was painted by 16c *Kanouha 狩野派 on fan paintings preserved in Nanzenji 南禅寺, Kyoto. Haku Raku is usually shown seated, surrounded by attendants, looking at a black horse.


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