Zentner Collection: Antique Japanese Tansu, Asian Works of Art
"Yacchimatta!" the lost soul seems to say as he slaps himself on the head, a sake cup and Tokkuri wine flask in front of him. Ink on dark paper with patterned dark cloth boarder with wide gray piping and featuring bone rollers. The skeleton and or skull have long been featured in Japanese art, both secular and Buddhist. It is used as a symbol of impermanence and as a Zen teaching tool. In this case, perhaps this fellow spent too much time in the bottle and not enough in more meaningful endeavors, only to find his time was up. This seal translation was a little tough... The top character seems to be a stylized form of 無 (mu) The bottom character appears to be 玩 As far as a reading, my guess would be Mugan (and the meaning would seem to be something like "not playing around"). This paintin has great charm!

Age: Edo Period (1603-1868)

Dimensions: 15 3/4" wide x 54" long
item #1424754