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Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts

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The Arhat Vajriputra

Unidentified Artist Sino-Tibetan, 15th century

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
15th century
Culture:
Tibet
Medium:
Ink and color on cotton
Dimensions:
Image: 32 x 20 in. (81.3 x 50.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1992
Accession Number:
1992.198
  • Description

    Tibetan Lamaism, imported into China by the Mongol rulers in the thirteenth century, enjoyed further patronage from the fifteenth century Ming emperors. This image vividly demonstrates how hieratic Tibetan imagery was transformed under Chinese influence into a more familiar style, witnessed most strongly in the sinicized treatment of landscape. The painting, originally part of a set depicting the sixteen arhats (Buddhist saints), probably portrays Vajraputra, who raises his right hand in the teaching gesture (dharmachakra mudra) and holds a fly whisk in his left. Tibetan inscriptions appear on the lower left margin and on the reverse.

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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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