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China Anonymous, Chinese
Luohan with Attendant , Paint on Paper
11 3/8 in. x 7 in. (28.89 cm x 17.78 cm)

Object Type: Scroll
Technique: Brushwork
Period: Ming Dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. William Bacon Pettus
Accession Number: 2002.0.37

Alternate Title: A Buddhist Monk and Attendant

Painting of a Buddhist monk (Luohan) with an attendant. The Luohan holds a fly-whisk, and sits with one leg folded up on his chair. The attribution and region are unknown. If Chinese, it is probably 16th century Ming Dynasty Buddhist devotional object. It could also be Japanese, or possibly Korean. It is in the typical form of a hanging scroll, but doesn't quite fit with the later portrayal of Lohan in China. The small size is unusual; it may have been part of an album of 16-18 Luohans. The image shows beautiful detail, especially in the face of the Luohan. Sixteenth century Miromachi style.*


No marks.

Paint and ink on paper.

Object Description
This important Buddhist painting was probably part of a series of 16 portraits or arhats (enlightened monks). The artist may have been a monk himself, for many monasteries produced such images for their own use in prayer ceremonies. It is difficult to say whether this artist was Chinese, Japanese or a Chinese monk working in Japan, for this work was done in an international style associated with East Asian Buddhist paintings in the 16th century.

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