Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Arhat/Sthavira (Buddhist Elder) - 16 Elders: Kalika

གནས་བརྟན། 罗汉
(item no. 35)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Size 118.75x74.30cm (46.75x29.25in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Shelley & Donald Rubin
Catalogue # acc.# P1994.10.8
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Arhat

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Kalika, the Elder (Tibetan: du den, dra chen dzin, Sanskrit: Sthavira Kalika): the 4th arhat from the set of 16 great arhats.

Calm in expression, with short dark hair, he holds with the two hands a golden earring. Attired in an outer robe of red and orange patchwork strips, he wears a blue-green inner garment with long sleeves and a white liner. Atop a red mat bordered with yellow brocade above a rocky bench, he sits with his shoes placed on a rock step neatly in front. The head is framed with a reddish-brown areola. At the left a standing monk, wearing the patchwork robe and a blue cloak, meticulously attends to a large golden incense burner. The background is filled with a rocky landscape, a large twisting tree and blue leafed bushes. In the foreground is a small waterfall, along with rocky features and flowering shrubs.

"On the good continent of Jambudvipa is the noble elder Kalika, surrounded by 1,100 arhats; homage to the One holding gold earrings." (Sakya liturgical text).

At the top left is the Buddha of Limitless Life, Amitayus, the Sambhogakaya aspect of Amitabha. Red in colour, with one face and two hands placed in the lap, he holds a long-life vase. Wearing various silks and gold ornaments, he sits in vajra posture above a lotus blossom seat surrounded by blue and orange radiant light.

The Sixteen Great Arhats are generally painted as a set. The full group would include the buddha Shakyamuni, the 16 arhats, the attendant Dharmatala, the patron Hvashang and the Four Guardians of the Directions - Vaishravana, Virupaksha, Dritarashtra and Virudhaka.

Jeff Watt 5-99

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Painting Set: Arhats: Single Main Figure
Arhat/Sthavira: Kalika (Yongle Style)
Painting Set: Arhat/Sthavira (Yongle Style Miscellaneous)
Arhat/Sthavira: Kalika Main Page
Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin
Painting Set: Arhat Set XXXI