Portrait of Shun'oku Myōha

Unidentified artist

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 228

Portraits of Zen masters were used in memorial services and carry with them the charisma of the deceased sitter. This formal portrait depicts Shun’oku Myōha (1311–1388), one of the most prominent figures in the history of Japanese Zen Buddhism. The disciple and nephew of the preeminent master Musō Soseki (1275–1351), Shun’oku had many illustrious followers and enjoyed the strong support of Japan’s rulers. Shun’oku himself composed and brushed the inscription on this scroll, which was created to be used in a ritual at a temple in Kyoto. It reads:

Atop his head, no eye of wisdom.

On view for rotations 1 and 2

Portrait of Shun'oku Myōha, Unidentified artist Japanese, Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk, Japan

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