Chinese beliefs about magical islands and enchanted caves were blended with Buddhist ideas imported from India to create iconographic combinations like the one you see here. Mystical clouds encircle the magical island of Mount Putuo as a dragon rises from the crashing waves. The bodhisattva Guanyin, who pledged to forgo enlightenment and remain in the world in order to aid suffering beings, sits in a cave high atop the mountain. Sixteen luohans, wizened guardians of the Buddhist law, pay her homage. Prostrating before Guanyin is the young pilgrim boy Sudhana (Chinese: Shancai), who has come to her seeking spiritual guidance.
Inscription: No Artist's inscription, signature, or seal
Wu Rongguang 吳榮光 （1773–1843） 荷屋曾觀
Pan Zhengwei 潘正煒 （1791–1850） 季彤翰墨
John C. Ferguson , until 1913; sold to MMA]
New York. Asia Society. "The Story of a Painting: The Korean Buddhist Treasure from the Burke Foundation," April 23, 1991–July 28, 1991.
Lawrence. Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. "Latter Days of the Law: Images of Chinese Buddhism, 850–1850," August 28, 1994–October 9, 1994.
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. "Latter Days of the Law: Images of Chinese Buddhism, 850–1850," November 16, 1994–January 11, 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China," August 26, 2017–January 6, 2019.