Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Three Sages (Confucius, Laozi, Buddha)
  • Kanō Tanyū
    born: Kyoto, Japan ; died: Edo (present-day Tokyo), Japan ; active: Japan
  • Three Sages (Confucius, Laozi, Buddha), 1600s, Edo period (1600–1868)
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • ink, color on silk (with box)
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 39.3 x 61.1 cm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 15 1/2 x 24 1/16 in
    Mount Dimensions: 122 x 78.1 cm
    Mount Dimensions: 48 1/16 x 30 3/4 in
  • Gift of Jay Gates, Director, Spencer Museum of Art, 1984–1987
  • Not on display
  • 2012.0594

A tree branch projecting from the left side frames a group of three figures. Each probably represents one of the three teachings (Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism). The figure on the left, his back to the viewer, wears a cap and a robe painted in light yellow. He regards a monk standing on his right side. Facing them, the third figure raises his hand, pointing it into air. Engaged in conversation, the three men wear smiles on their faces.