Dragon [right of the pair Dragon and Tiger], 16th century

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In traditional Chinese cosmology, the tiger and the dragon are two of four creatures associated with the cardinal directions. The tiger is the emblem of the west, and the dragon, the east. In Zen Buddhism, however, the tiger came to be associated with the earthbound enlightened mind, and the dragon the soaring spirit of the freed satoric soul. Consequently, images of tigers and dragons are frequently encountered in Zen temples in Japan.

Although this masterful painting is signed, varying biographical accounts of three generations of artists who used the same name obscures the exact identity of the artist, Yamada Dōan. Nevertheless, the vigorous brushwork here suggests that it was painted during the mid-16th century.

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Yamada Doan, Tiger and Dragon Screen (#166)
Details
Title
Dragon [right of the pair Dragon and Tiger]
Artist Life
active 16th century
Role
Painter
Accession Number
83.75.1
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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