mouryouga 魍魎画
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Ch: wanglianghua. Lit. apparition ghostly paintings. A style of ink figure painting that contrasts ethereal forms created with pale lines and wash against dark, sharply drawn facial features and so suggests the Zen 禅 paradox of emptiness vs. form. Said to have originated with the Southern Song Zen artist Zhirong (Jp: Chiyuu 智融, 1114-63), mouryouga was popular with late Song and Yuan period painters of Zen subjects. Fine Chinese examples often with inscriptions by unknown Zen masters were treasured in Japanese Zen communities where the style was picked up by Japanese painters in the Muromachi period.


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