These paintings illustrate Chinese Confucian gentlemen in a mountain setting. Given their large scale and cropped compositions, it is likely that they were originally mounted on sliding doors. They may have been damaged and remounted as hanging scrolls in order to salvage the remaining fragments. Such works, rendered largely in somber ink tonalities would have been appropriate for more private quarters, in contrast to brilliantly painted works on gold as displayed within the museum's Audience Hall.
The facile brushwork delineating the sages' costumes and facial features is consistent with that of Kano_ Eitoku, the renowned leader of the Kano_ school during the late 16th century. Another artist may have added certain landscape elements when the paintings were remounted as hanging scrolls.