K046 Chinese Daruma by Tōkō Shin’etsu 東皋心越

[Daruma] passed through the Liang Palace and befuddled everyone in China.
He spent nine years contemplating a wall at a holy place.
Who knows what a great enlightenment he attained?
One flower opens, five petals appear, shining brightly.
Respectfully painted by Tōkō Etsu Shata
東皋 越社多拝寫
Tōkō Shin’etsu (Donggao Xinyue, 東皋心越, 1639–1696)
K046 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 112.7 cm × 42.1 cm.


Here is a Daruma painted by a Chinese master. Chinese Darumas have a different feel to them; they are not so intense as the Japanese versions and much better painted since Chinese masters were generally accomplished artists with the brush.Shin’etsu was one of the most talented of Chinese masters/artists. He inscribed each of his Daruma paintings with an original verse, composed in the most elegant and majestic seal script. While the body of Daruma is formed with a few simple flowing strikes, the Grand Patriarch’s head is painted in fine detail. The use of negative space is also outstanding. Altogether, this work is an excellent example of Chinese Buddhist art.