The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of September 27, 2016

Portrait of the Priest Dokuryu, 1671

hanging scroll, ink and color on paper, Diameter: w. 2.90 cm (1 1/8 inches); Overall: w. 69.90 cm (27 1/2 inches); Painting only: 111.40 x 50.10 cm (43 13/16 x 19 11/16 inches); Including mounting: 211.75 x 63.80 cm (83 5/16 x 25 1/16 inches). Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1965.31

The subject of this portrait is a Chinese gentleman-scholar known as Tai Li who emigrated to Japan in 1653 after the fall of the Ming dynasty in China. Later, Subsequently, Tai Li joined the Obaku sect of Zen Buddhism and took the name DokuryĆ¾.

The painter of this portrait, Kita Genki, lived in Nagasaki at a time when it was virtually the only channel through which foreign influences could enter Japan. He was influenced both by contemporary styles of Chinese portraiture and by Western models.

In the inscription by DokuryĆ¾ (datable to 1671) he reflects on a moment of personal enlightenment:

Contemplative emptiness: the moon suspended over the village at midnight.
Suddenly my soul is startled by the howl of an ape.
Who could know that it would arouse me beyond my senses,
And bring me an inner vision from Mt. Sumeru.

inscription at top of scroll by the artist with three seals, dated 1671.

Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 121); March 10, 2003 - July 16, 2003.
Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer). Tokyo National Museum (1/15/2014 - 2/23/2014) and Kyushu National Museum (7/8/2014 - 8/31/2014): "Admired from Afar: Masterworks of Japanese Painting from the Cleveland Museum of Art", cat. no. 17, p. 63.

Detail Views