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清 石濤 (朱若極) 十六羅漢圖 卷
The Sixteen Luohans

Artist:
Shitao (Zhu Ruoji) (Chinese, 1642–1707)
Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
dated 1667
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 18 1/4 x 235 3/4 in. (46.4 x 598.8 cm) Overall with mounting: 22 5/16 x 895 in. (56.7 x 2273.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Douglas Dillon, 1985
Accession Number:
1985.227.1
Not on view
Shitao, born Zhu Ruoji, a scion of the Ming imperial family, escaped death in his youth by taking refuge in the Buddhist priesthood. In 1662 he became a disciple of the powerful Chan (Zen) master Lü’an Benyue (d. 1676). In the late 1660s and 1670s, while living in seclusion in temples around Xuancheng, Anhui Province, he taught himself to paint.

In The Sixteen Luohans, Shitao’s earliest major extant work, the young painter, then twenty-five, drew what are possibly the most effective figures since the Yuan period (1279–1368). A rare religious subject for Shitao, known for his visionary landscapes, the scroll depicts the sixteen guardian luohans (saints) ordered by the Buddha to live in the mountains and protect the Buddhist law until the coming of the future Buddha.

Stylistically, the immediate sources for Shitao’s figures were late Ming painters, such as Ding Yunpeng (1547–ca. 1621) and Wu Bin (act. ca. 1583–1626). Unlike Wu Bin’s luohans, which seem to be merely grotesque caricatures, Shitao’s are carefully observed, showing such thoroughly human qualities as humor and curiosity.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signatures (1 column in standard script)

[Painted in the] dingwei year [1667] by the “grandson” of Tiantong Min [Muchen Daomin, 1596–1674], and the “son” of Shanguo Yue [Lü’an Benyue, died 1676], Shitao, Ji.

丁未年天童忞之孫譱果月之子石濤濟

Artist’s seals

Ji shanseng 濟山憎
Qingxiang Shitao 清湘石濤

Other inscription

Mei Qing 梅清 (1623–1697), 12 columns in semi-cursive/standard script, undated; 2 seals:

Among the inspired practitioners of monochrome drawing (baimiao), the very best is Longmian [Li Gonglin, ca. 1041–1106)]. Most [works attributed to him] that I have seen are imitations, not authentic. Master Shitao's Sixteen Luohans [possesses] exquisite detail, bravura [brush] movements, a divinely interesting composition, and brushwork and ink washes that almost exhaust [the possibilities of] creative metamorphosis. He said that this handscroll took one year from start to finish. I have set it out on my table and admired it tens of times, but I have never been able to exhaust one ten-thousandth [of its richness].[1] Respectfully inscribed by Qushan, Mei Qing. [Seals]: Mei zi, Chen Qing

白描神手首善龍眠,生平所見多贋本,非真本也。石濤大士所製十六尊者,神采飛動,天趣縱橫,筆痕墨跡變化殆盡。自云此卷閱歲始成,予嘗供之案前,展玩數十遍,終不能盡其萬一,真神物也。瞿山梅清敬識。 [印]:梅子、臣清

Label strip

Wang Lüben 汪律本 (1867–1930), 2 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1914:
《十六應真圖》 清湘老人在粵山寺傑作,程齡孫所寶,石公畫第一品。甲寅二月汪律本題。

Frontispiece

Wang Chang 王昶 (1725–1806), 7 columns in clerical script, undated; 3 seals:

石濤大士 《十六阿羅應真圖》。青浦王昶題。[印]: 三泖漁莊、王昶、逯盦

Colophons

1. Wu Rongguang 吳榮光 (1773–1843), 19 columns in standard script, dated 1836; 2 seals:

須菩提!於意云何?須陁洹能作是念,我得須陁洹果不?須菩提言:不也,世尊。何以故?須陁洹名為入流而無所入,不入色聲香味觸法,是名須陁洹。須菩提!於意云何?斯陁含能作是念,我得斯陁含果不?須菩提言:不也,世尊。何以故?斯陁含名一往來,而實無往來,是名斯陁含。須菩提!於意云何?阿那含能作是念,我得阿那含果不?須菩提言:不也,世尊。何以故?阿那含名為不來,而實無不來,是故名阿那含。須菩提!於意云何?阿羅漢能作是念,我得阿羅漢道不?須菩提言:不也,世尊。何以故?實無有法名阿羅漢。世尊,若阿羅漢作是念,我得阿羅漢道,即為著我人眾生壽者。世尊,佛說我得無諍三昧,人中最為第一,是第一離欲阿羅漢。世尊,我不作是念,我是離欲阿羅漢。世尊,我若作是念,我得阿羅漢道。世尊即不說須菩提是樂阿蘭那行者,以須菩提實無所行,而名須菩提,是樂阿蘭那行。

他日有悟漸修頓證者,或於吾書此一段發之。道光丙申秋九月書於清湘老人畫 《十六應真》 卷後。南海吳榮光敬識。 [印]: 游于藝、癸巳生

2. Li Ruiqing 李瑞清 (1867–1920), 20 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 2 seals:

遂吾廬中有二寶焉,一清湘老人仿宋刻絲卷子,一即此也,主人因自號為滌滌軒。此卷仿宋白描,細如髮絲,而筆如鑄鐵,何減李龍眠耶。其樹石鳥獸如篆如籀,而古逸冷寂,又非石[圈去]十洲先生所能也。大氐清湘老人畫分三時代,而以在粵時為最工。余筆[圈去]昔年曾見細筆小冊,其畫灋款字與此正同,前有覃溪[翁方綱]、墨卿[伊秉綬]兩先生以重直得之,後與阿筠,阿筠又與吾鄉余介翁易畫矣,至今猶追悔也。昔人論畫品,以畫佛第一,次山水,次花卉。此卷山水畫佛筆墨俱備,而主人所藏老人畫極多,直可題其齋為大滌軒,它日當為書額也 。清道人 [印]: 寶石堂、清道人
3. Xu Heng 徐衡 (fl. 1st half 20th c), 14 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1939; 3 seals:

清湘老人畫率多亂頭粗服,蒙養天縱。此卷乃在粵山寺時所作,行筆沉勁,氣韻古逸,尤屬得未曾有。大率證般若實象,乃得此香巖境界。吾家有宋僧弘能《五百阿羅漢》卷,又見丁南羽臨本、崔青蚓摹本,其氣味與此不殊,皆所謂夫人亂噴五百通五百小兒,俱各滿足,信非得本者不能也 。齡孫其善藏之。己卯孟陬通囗陳人歙縣徐衡書於滬上。 [印]: 通冏陳人、徐衡、聖秋

4. Zhang Daqian 張大千 (1899–1983) 11 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1952; 2 seals:

此卷二十年前見於遂吾廬時,先師李文潔公[李瑞清]已歸道山,恭讀跋語,悽愴無似。日本既降之明年,予重至海上,在歐湘館中,朱靖侯道兄復攜來共賞。頃復觀於香江,則靖侯亦已下世,人琴之感,車過之痛,可勝言哉。石師畫多師宋人,根砥特深。今人但以狂肆求之,豈知石師者耶。卷中一樹一石一草一花,莫不神似龍眠,無論諸尊者法相也。石師筆墨傳之今日者,自當以此為第一。壬辰二月朔蜀人張大千爰題。 [印]:張爰之印、大千居士

Collectors’ seals

Huang Zhongming 黃仲明 (1893–1959)
Huang Zhongming jianshang zhang 黃仲明鑒賞章
Huang shi Zhongming 黃氏仲明

Wu Rongguang 吳榮光 (1773–1843)
Wu Rongguang yin 吳榮光印

Wu Yuanhui 伍元蕙 (fl. ca. 1820–1860)
Wu Yuanhui Liquan 法u pingshu duhua zhi yin 伍元蕙儷荃甫評書讀畫之印
Wu shi Liquan pingsheng zhenshang 伍氏儷荃平生真賞
Nanhai Wu shi Nanxue Zhai miji yin 南海伍氏南雪齋秘笈印
Liquan shending 儷荃審定
Wu shi Chengguan Ge shuhua zhi yin 伍氏澄觀閣書畫之印

Zhou You 周游 (20th c.)
Xinhua Zhou You shoucang 新化周游收藏

Zhu Rongjue 朱榮爵 (fl. 1st half 20th c.)
Yunsong Guan 雲松館
Zhu Jue siyin 朱爵私印
Zhu Jinghou jia zhencang 朱靖侯家珍藏
Qian An 箝盦
Ruyuan 如願
Ruru Jushi 如如居士
Zhu Qian An miji zhi yin 朱箝盦秘笈之印
Yunsong Guan cang 雲松館藏

Xu Bojiao 徐伯郊 (20th c.)
Xu Bojiao jia zhencang 徐伯郊家珍藏
Xu Bojiao jingyan ji 徐伯郊經眼記

[1] Translation by Maxwell K. Hearn, Cultivated landscapes: Chinese paintings from the collection of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002, pp. 57, 60.
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