Image: 44 1/4 x 19 5/16 in. (112.4 x 49.1 cm)
Overall with mounting: 78 x 20 3/8 in. (198.1 x 51.8 cm)
Overall with knobs: 78 x 22 in. (198.1 x 55.9 cm)
Purchase, Seymour Fund and Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1984
Not on view
Fourteenth-century renderings of arhats (or luohans), particularly from the second half of that period, are imbued with an intensity that differs markedly from the more serene representations of these figures that dominated the centuries before. In this powerful painting, a bearded arhat stands in an undefined space holding a begging bowl that has miraculously filled with flowers. He gazes intently at the bowl, apparently unaware of the wind that is causing his robes to flutter. The broad, bare chest is unusual and may be another example of Indo-Himalayan influence on Chinese art of the fourteenth century. A similar disregard for clothing and dramatic posturing are often found in representations of mahasiddhas, the unorthodox and quasi-historical Indian figures who helped spur the development of Esoteric Buddhist traditions from the seventh through the twelfth century.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature, or seal
[ Marion Hammer Bigorio, CH, until 1984; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Traditional Scholarly Values at the End of the Qing Dynasty: The Collection of Weng Tonghe (1830–1904)," June 30, 1998–January 3, 1999.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Millennium of Chinese Painting: Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," September 8, 2001–January 13, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Secular and Sacred: Scholars, Deities, and Immortals in Chinese Art," September 10, 2005–January 8, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty," September 28, 2010–January 2, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from the Metropolitan Collection II," May 7, 2016–October 11, 2016.