monk art

Sometimes an artist just finds a niche and runs with it.

Take Eduard von Grützner, for example. German painter back in the early 1900s. He tried a whole bunch of stuff over the course of his career, but eventually he settled into doing paintings of fat, sassy monks drinking booze.

Just tubby old priests getting plastered.

He did dozens of these things.

Today it’s literally all he’s known for.

You do your thing, Eddie. You do your thing.

The komusō (literally “priest of nothingness” or “monk of emptiness”) were a group of Zen Buddhist mendicant monks who wandered the roads of Edo period Japan. They would play elaborate tunes on their bamboo flutes as they begged for alms, their faces (and thus, their ego) completely concealed by a distinctive hood woven from straws or reeds. Unsurprisingly, many were recruited as spies or were actually ninja or ronin in disguise, and eventually their temples and their schools were abolished for meddling in material affairs instead of spiritual ones.