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Soga Shokaku Daruma

27 February, 2008 (05:00) | japan, paintings, premodern-modern | By: xensen

daruma image by soga shohaku

Keeping on our Daruma theme, here is a standing version by the Kyoto painter Soga Shohaku (1730-1781). While Shohaku sometimes produced paintings of the greatest care and precision, he also worked in a freer style, as in this example.  Bodhidharma’s body is quickly outlined in broad strokes. His face, which turns back to the viewer, brings the painting alive through a few masterfully rendered strokes that produce a typically enigmatic expression.

Shohaku’s sprawling inscription informs us that the work was painted in a drunken state, and no doubt this contributed to the painting’ spontaneous quality. The attitude is consistent with a Zen value of freedom from restraint, which is seen in many eighteenth-century works from Kyoto. The painting is about four feet tall, and it was probably painted with a large straw brush.

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Comments

Comment from peacay
Time: March 24, 2008, 10:57 am

If I say “It’s ELVIS!”, I’m really going to show how much of a philistine I am, aren’t I?
Consider I didn’t say it then.