Art/ Collection/ Art Object

明 佚名 觀音羅漢圖 扇
Guanyin and the sixteen luohans

Artist:
Unidentified Artist
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
16th–17th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Round fan mounted as an album leaf; ink, color, and gold on silk
Dimensions:
Sheet: H. 12 in. (30.5 cm); W. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); Diam. 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913
Accession Number:
13.100.123
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 210
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

Collectors' seals

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.

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