Image: 50 3/8 × 24 1/2 in. (128 × 62.2 cm)
Overall with mounting: 96 5/8 × 26 1/2 in. (245.4 × 67.3 cm)
Overall with knobs: 96 5/8 × 29 5/8 in. (245.4 × 75.2 cm)
From the Collection of A. W. Bahr, Purchase, Fletcher Fund, 1947
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 211
Luohans (arhats, in Sanskrit) or "worthy ones" are disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha to whom he entrusted the guardianship of the Buddhist law. In China these enlightened beings became the focus of popular veneration and were typically shown in groups of sixteen, eighteen, or five hundred.
This painting of the sixth luohan, one of twelve that survive from a set of eighteen, is typical of the Chinese treatment of this subject. Inspired by the powerful portraits of individual luohans created by the monk-artist Guanxiu (832–912), the figure is dressed like a monk but given exotic facial features to emphasize his non-Chinese origins. Shown as dwelling in the wilderness, his appearance of spiritual authority is enhanced by his frequent companion, a tiger, which is also the Chinese cosmological symbol of the West.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription (3 columns in standard script)
The venerable sixth Luohan, Batuoluo [Bhadra], who with nine hundred followers resides in the land of Danmoluo [Tamra] It is, at present, an auspicious moment on the nineteenth of the second lunar month in the fifth year of [the Zhizheng reign era of the great Yuan dynasty], in the yiyou year [March 23, 1345]. The venerable sixth Luohan, Batuoluo [Bhadra], who with nine hundred followers resides in the land of Danmoluo [Tamra] 第六名跋陀羅尊長與九百眷屬住躭沒羅洲。時大[元至正]五年乙酉歲二月己卯朔十九日甲戌吉，第六名跋陀羅尊者與九百眷屬住躭沒羅洲。
Han Fengxi 韓逢禧 (ca. 1578–after 1653) 韓逢禧書畫印
Kong Guangtao 孔廣陶 (1832–1890) 孔廣陶印
 The words in the brackets are missing on the scroll. Translation from Department records.