Luohan, after a set attributed to Guanxiu


Not on view

Of the many luohan painters throughout Chinese history, none was more influential than the Buddhist monk Guanxiu (832–912), whose wild caricatures inspired generations of artists to depict luohans as exotic, superhuman beings. Guanxiu’s paintings were already considered rare in 1757, when the Qianlong emperor encountered what he believed to be an authentic set in a monastery in Hangzhou. To preserve their appearance, the emperor commissioned copies and had them carved in stone so that rubbings like this one could be made. The original painting is now lost, making these copies some of the most important surviving evidence of Guanxiu’s style.

Luohan, after a set attributed to Guanxiu, Unidentified artist, possibly Ding Guanpeng (active 1726–71), Ink on paper, China

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