Portrait of Daruma

Attributed to Soga Dasoku (calligraphy attr. to Ikkyu Sojun)
Japanese (Dasoku active c. 1452–1483; Sojun, 1394–1481)
Muromachi period (1392–1573)
15th century
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
36 9/16 x 13 9/16 in. (92.8 x 34.5 cm)
AP 1970.07
Currently Not On View
Daruma, known also by the Sanskrit name Bodhidharma, is the legendary first patriarch of Zen Buddhism. He is said to have been a south Indian prince who introduced the meditative sect of Buddhism to China in the sixth century. Among numerous exploits attributed to Daruma, his unbroken nine-year meditation in a mountain cave is the most famous. This immobile profile of Daruma, created by a few swift strokes, suggests this feat and conveys the sense of unyielding discipline admired by the disciples of Zen. The colophon has the signature of Ikkyu Sojun, a prominent monk renowned for his idiosyncratic interpretation of Zen ideals and also famed as a calligrapher. An old inscription on the box attributes the image to Soga Dasoku, who was a disciple of Ikkyu.

Provenance

Viscount Matsudaira; Baron Kuki; Mr. Kinta Muto Hyogo; (N. V. Hammer, Inc., New York) by 1969; purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1970.