The Sixth Patriarch Cutting the Bamboo (六祖截竹圖)
Liang Kai (梁楷, c.1140-1210), Song Dynasty (960-1279)
Hanging scroll, ink on paper, 72.7 x 31.5 cm, Tokyo National Museum
Liang Kai's figure painting inherits from the style of fine ink lines by Li Gonglin (李公麟, 1049–1106), a literary artist in the end of the Northern Song dynasty, but with considerable variation. Its main characteristic is its simple and hurried expression in ink. The sixth patriarch cutting the bamboo is, together with Li Bai in Stroll, one of the masterpieces of figure paintings by Liang Kai.