A native of Hangzhou, the priest Dazhi was known for his eloquent exposition of Buddhist doctrines and for his success in winning many converts. Here he appears as a simple Buddhist priest, subdued in expression and calm in spirit. He holds a staff and a begging bowl. The poetic stanza above, written by Liu Tao (late 1000s-early 1100s), praises the priest:
Dignified he is, perfect in his upasampada,
His appearance is like his mind.
Uncompromising and aloof,
His mind is like his appearance.
To say he is square, he proves to be round.
He looks timid, yet his spirit is unbound.
Having no attachment, and holding no reigns,
Men and deities alike take refuge in him.
Nara National Museum, 1978: Nihon Bukkyo, cat. no. 63.
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1981: Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting, cat. no. 17, p. 29.
Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 119); October 29, 2003 - March 15, 2004.
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",, fig. 2, p. 55.
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