K077 Dragon by Mugaku Zesshū 無学絶宗

DRAGON
Its virtue reaches heaven,
Yet it is not far away.
Brushed by Zesshū.

絶宗書
不   遠
徳先天々
Mugaku Zesshū (無学絶宗, 1709-1795)
K077 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 42.4 cm × 50.9 cm.

 

A dragon soars to the ends of the universe but the power of that magical creature is not something that lies beyond us; in fact, all of us have the ability to become dragons by manifesting our virtuous inner nature. Zesshū specialized in brushing dynamic Zen dragons and this piece ranks among his finest: spirited, bold, and powerful. The big ink splash made to create the Dragon’s head is characteristic of animated Zen brushwork.