The Enso Circle in Art

by | Sep 12, 2018

In our society today, there is a lot of tension and stress, and we are all looking for a little extra peace in our lives. Here at Fine Art America, we are longing for peace wherever we can find it. Which is what makes the Enso circle such a lovely addition to our offices and homes, because we can look at it, and feel peaceful, and who can’t use a little bit of peacefulness?

An Explanation

The Enso circle has been a part of the Zen Buddhism philosophy for hundreds of years. It is a symbol of strength, completeness, elegance, and the void within. In other words, the Enso circle, when complete, represents enlightenment.  The Enso circle can be an open circle, which represents incompleteness, or a preparedness for fulfillment. Open circles can also mean fulfillment or development and movement towards a new purpose. Some people appreciate the open Enso circles and their celebration of imperfection. Closed Enso circles represent perfection and absolute balance in life.

The Japanese culture has been drawing Enso circles as a form of self expression for hundreds of years by drawing a circle in one fluid stroke on very thin rice paper. No erasure or correction is allowed, as the drawing of the circle is seen as an exercise in self-expression.  In addition, the color chosen and the circle drawn is seen as an expression of character.

Logo designers began using aspects of the Enso circle in their logos, but artists have been designing and creating Enso circles far longer.

Ensos in Art

We have many representations of Enso circles here. Artists have used Ensos as art prints or canvas paintings. Interestingly, unlike traditional Japanese art, artists have represented Enso circles with different background, including multicolored backgrounds. In addition, partial Enso circles as well as double Enso circles have been used by artists to illustrate beauty and peace. The Enso circles have been white against a stark background, which could be used to represent purity, as well as circles that are red against a white background, which could be used to represent intensity. Nearly every color and color background can be found in our collection.

In addition to canvas art and art prints, Ensos in art can be represented on many different items, such as a series of wood block art, which could add a dramatic influence to any room. Enso circles can also be viewed as yoga mats, which would perhaps bring peace and purposefulness to your yoga routine. Coffee mugs and notebooks could decorate your desk, and you could use a tote back for your tech gear with an Enso circle. We even have Enso circles on duvet covers, like these.

While there are many suggestions for how to use an Enso circle, in the end, how you decide to use it is really up to you. We hope that the use of the circle brings you as much peace as it does us to create them and bring them to you.


‘Tis the Season for Graduation Gifts

  It is that time of year again, when high school and college students all over the United States celebrate the end of an era--the day they graduate. What better way to celebrate their graduation than the gift of art? Here are some ideas to give graduating high school...

read more

I Need My Space

Do you ever feel like you are just too crowded? Like there are so many people and places and things in your way that you would just give anything to be able to have a few minutes of solitude. One of our co-workers, who has three children under the age of 6, was...

read more


  We have been thinking a lot about scandal lately here at Fine Art America. Sometimes, it seems like scandals are uniquely American, but we are not alone. Scandals take place all over the world, all of the time. Currently, there are several scandals brewing you might...

read more