The Second Patriarch in Contemplation (二祖調心圖)
Shi Ke (石恪, 10th century), Five Dynasties period (907-960)
Two hanging scrolls, ink on paper, 35.3 x 64.4 cm, Tokyo National Museum
This work is attributed to Shi Ke of the Hou (later) Shu kingdom in the period of Five Dynasties. He studied under Zhang Nanben (張南本), who was a master at painting fire, and was good at figure painting. Although he did not care what other people think and pursued his own free style with ease, Shi Ke's painting style, where faces are painted in details while clothes are drawn with simple strokes became the standard for subsequent figure painting in China. The second Zen patriarch in contemplation is the work that best represents Shi Ke's paintings expressed using only lines and shades.