K238 Enso by Sokuchūsai Sōsa 即中斎宗左

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Sokuchūsai Sōsa (即中斎宗左, 1901-1979)
K238 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 72.1 cm × 25.0 cm


This is an unadorned Zen circle, brushed in one perfectly controlled brushstroke. The ink tone is rich, deep and full; although the painting is actually not large it projects great power and expansiveness; Sokuchūsai’s trademark kaō seems to be looking up at the moon, and basking in its light. Since this elegant ensō was brushed by a tea ceremony master, it is somewhat more reserved and reflective than paintings done by “in your face” Zen masters.