Organized Panel Session
An anonymous dragon painting at the Art Institute of Chicago has long puzzled scholars: what is its dynasty, cultural identity, and country of origin? Although the painting’s brushwork resembles the art of China’s Song-era (1279-1368), a faded seal under ultraviolet radiation can be identified as that of Sesshū Tōyō (1420-1506), a renowned Japanese monk-painter who journeyed to the Ming court in 1468. Sesshū’s cross-cultural voyage poses new problems: is his seal authentic or fake? If genuine, in which countries did Sesshū see the iconographical prototype of the painting? If counterfeit, what motivated the forger to add a Japanese seal to a Song-style painting?