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Tanke Gessen (1721-1809)
Signed: Gessen
Seals: Gessen, Hakuun Tanshô & Shogashi .. (top)
Technique: sumi and pink on paper 101 x 27,6
Mounting: Brown damask and light green silk
173,5 x 31
Condition: Good

The inscription reads:
Blue mountains run in a line from far to near,
thatched roofs are piled up high on low.

Gessen was born in Nagoya. When he was nine years old he studied at the Enrin-ji to become a priest. During these years Gessen was fond of painting and by the time he was 19 he moved to the Zôjô-ji in Shiba taking lessons from the Sesshû style painter Sakurai Sekkan (1715-90) (Sesshû XII) in Edo. After moving to the Chion-in in Kyoto he studied with Maruyama Ôkyo (1733-95).

In 1754 at the age of 34 he became the head priest at the Jakushô-ji in Ise. The temple is said to have been in a terrible state, and Gessen under took the task to rebuild and enlarge it and to provide it with a library. In order to finance all this he sold his paintings at high prices. He submitted paintings to the autumn exhibition of 1796 of the Shin Shoga Tenkan, the public semi-annual Exhibition of New Calligraphies and Paintings at the Sôrin-ji in Kyoto. Gessen was a deeply religious man who also took financial care of the poor.

Roberts p. 31
Araki p. 314
Moog p. 141