A bearded man, wearing a loincloth and a long trailing headband, hangs from a cross by his arms, which have split open beneath the ropes that bind them. His left leg hangs downward and passes behind his right foot, which perches precariously on a forked branch. He strains to his left and gazes upward with his mouth open in a tortured movement augmented by the dramatic sweeps of drapery that frame his torso.
This bearded figure bound to a cross represents the Good Thief described in the gospel of Luke who was crucified alongside Christ and decried the injustice of Christ's execution (Luke 23:39-43). This sculpture once formed part of a complex, multi-figure altarpiece depicting the Crucifixion in which the Good Thief would have appeared next to a larger figure of the crucified Christ.
Deep, thick-walled gray teabowl with intentionally unever lip and body texture that brings out a range of gray tones in the glaze.
This unusually deep bowl in a warm gray glaze is said to be by Sen Sôshu X, the tenth-generation head of the Mushanokôji School of Tea. In evaluating a teabowl from a tea master, one looks not for slick professional skill, but for traces of the maker’s character. The generous, rounded shape of this teabowl seems to reflect an open, magnanimous personality.
A boy stands at the front of the painting, arms crossed and face solemn. He is wearing an oversized white shirt that comes down to his knees. A figure, most likely a woman, stands behind him with her back turned. Her head is covered in a long black headscarf that is traditional to Jewish culture. Behind them is a blue horizon.