Portrait of Priest Dazhi (1048–1116), Master of Law

大智律師元照像

1100s
calligrapher

Liu Tao 劉 燾

(Chinese, late 1000s–early 1100s)
Image: 92.4 x 40.5 cm (36 3/8 x 15 15/16 in.); Overall: 171.9 x 55.1 cm (67 11/16 x 21 11/16 in.); with knobs: 171.9 x 60.5 cm (67 11/16 x 23 13/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

A native of Hangzhou, the priest Dazhi was known for his eloquent exposition of Buddhist doctrines and for his success in winning many converts.

Description

Monk Yuanzhao, with the honorific title Dazhi Lüshi, Great Wisdom Master of Vinaya, is depicted here as an itinerant monk, holding his alms bowl in the left and staff in the right. In 1142, Emperor Gaozong had bestowed Yuanzhao with a posthumous title, mentioned in the inscription, which suggests that the portrait was made after the master’s death. A master of the Lü sect of Buddhism, with a calm benevolent smile on his face, Yuanzhao was active on Mount Tiantai and in Hangzhou. Later, Liu Tao, a southerner from Changxing, added the inscription.

The eulogy reads:
Dignified he is, perfect in his upasampada [ordination of a monk]. 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 reins, men and deities alike take refuge in him. —translated by Wai-Kam Ho
Portrait of Priest Dazhi (1048–1116), Master of Law

Portrait of Priest Dazhi (1048–1116), Master of Law

1100s

Liu Tao

(Chinese, late 1000s–early 1100s)
China, Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279)

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