K017 Wall-Gazing Daruma by Shōun, 松雲

menpeki no
ushiro sugata ya
hana no haru
This is the form of the Wall-Gazer from behind—
Flowers of spring!

(signed) Daruma who is the Old Fellow Shōun

達摩也松雲叟
花乃春
寿可多や
面壁乃うし路
Shōun (松雲, Sōhan Genpō 宗般玄芳, 1848-1922)
K017 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 105.7 cm × 29.0 cm.

This is a single stroke portrait of Wall-Gazing Daruma, portrayed as a massive rock. The inscription is a haiku poem that tells us, “Daruma represents the eternal still point that is at the center of existence; yet around that center life revolves, flowers bloom in spring, Buddha-nature flourishes.” Daruma paintings are always a Zen self-portrait, and this is a wonderful example of the artist identifying totally with his subject. The brushstrokes are vivid and bright, projecting a sense that Daruma is really present.