When robbed of four limbs, against all odds, the heart is set free


Acrylic on canvas mounted on board, signage in silver gold leaf

180 x 213 x 5 cm

Takashi Murakami’s monumental portrait When Robbed of Four Limbs, Against All Odds, the Heart is Set Free depicts the founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma (5th-6th centuries). Known in Japan as Daruma, the artist gives him a fierce look and associates him with a haiku. Between manga aesthetics and traditional technique, this classic, legendary figure, a symbol of resilience and determination, becomes very contemporary.

This painting, which departs from the bright colours associated with Murakami's neo-pop approach, was first presented in New York in 2007 and belongs to a series of works based on Daruma. Influenced by both Warhol's Factory and traditional Japanese art, Murakami explores the links between popular culture and art, present and past, humour and gravity.

When Robbed of Four Limbs, Against All Odds, the Heart Is Set Free was presented by the Pinault Collection during the exhibition "Qui a peur des artistes ?" (“Who’s Afraid of Artists?”) at the Palais des Arts in Dinard in 2009.