Portrait of Daruma

Portrait of Daruma is a scroll depicting immobile profile of Daruma, created by a few swift strokes at the bottom of the composition. At the top of the scroll there is writing
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.