October 21, 2010

Sesshū Tōyō, Leonardo

The mountains and landscapes drawn by Sesshū Tōyō (1420-1506) -- one of the greatest Japanese artists ever -- are so subtile and delicate, that if I had money I would definitely buy one of them.

For me, they look quite similar to the rocky background of the Mona Lisa (finished around 1506, when Sesshū Tōyō passed away) and other Leonardo's paintings. This is interesting, since Leonardo was one of the first painters who portraited a real person in front of a fake landscape. Not only that, but he was a pioneer using the aerial perspective. Sesshū Tōyō painted little villages, Leonardo just a bridge.

I was doing some research about this, when I learned that some specialists in Chinese art such as Yukio Yashiro had suggested already the possibility of some influence from China. That would be a hint to check out (like Egyptians influencing the old Greeks), but who knows...

No comments: