Buddha of Longevity

Ren Yu Chinese

Not on view

The son of the noted figure painter Ren Xiong (1820–1857), Ren Yu was only a few years old when his father died; his uncle Ren Xun (1835–1893) taught him to paint.

Ren's inscription states that this painting is modeled after a work by the Yangzhou "eccentric" Jin Nong (1687–1764). Like Jin, Ren has done nothing to make his figure visually ingratiating. Freely combining attributes of the meditating Chan (Zen) Buddhist patriarch Bodhidharma with the bulbous-headed Daoist God of Longevity, Ren's craggy figure radiates the austere air of an otherworldly saint.

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