Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Arhat/Sthavira (Buddhist Elder)

གནས་བརྟན། 罗汉
(item no. 495)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Uncertain
Size 84.77x53.34cm (33.38x21in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.27.8
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Interpretation / Description

Arhats (Tibetan: dra chom pa. English: Foe Destroyer): 8 of the 16 Arhats, the patron Hva-shang and 2 of the Direction Guardians. This painting belongs as a set with number 496 which contains the remaining Arhats.

Along the top from left to right (facing) are the arhats Vanavasin (1) holding a fly-whisk in the right hand and performing the wrathful mudra (gesture) with the left, Kanaka Bharadvaja (2) with both hands in the mudra of meditation, Angaja (3) holding a fly-whisk in the right and an incense burner in the left.

2nd row; arhat Kalika (4) holding two gold rings, Vajriputra (5) holding a fly-whisk in the right and the wrathful mudra with the left, Bhadra (6) with the right hand performing the mudra of teaching and the left in the mudra of meditation.

3rd row; the patron to the 16 Arhats, Hvashang, plump and balding, holding in the right hand a string of prayer beads, the arhat Ajita (7) with the two hands in meditation and Kanakavatsa (8) holding a string of jewels with both hands. Each of the arhats has a shaved head and wears the robes of the clergy (sangha).

At the bottom left is the Direction Guardian Virudhaka, blue in colour, holding a long sword. At the right is Dhritarashtra, white, playing a lute with both hands. Surrounded by dark billowing blue-black smoke and fire they wear gold and jewels, body armour and fine silks of various colours.

Jeff Watt 10-98

Reverse of Painting
Special Features: (includes "Om Ah Hum" inscription)

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 3
Painting Set: Arhats: Multiple Main Figures
Painting Style: Chinese
Arhat/Sthavira: Kanakavatsa Main Page
Arhat/Sthavira: Vanavasin Main Page
Arhat/Sthavira: Ajita Main Page
Arhat/Sthavira: Angaja Main Page
Arhat/Sthavira: Kalika Main Page
Arhat/Sthavira: Kanakabharadvaja Main Page
Arhat/Sthavira: Bhadra Main Page
Arhat/Sthavira: Vajriputra Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Arhat/Sthavira
Painting Set: Arhat Set XXIX
Collection: Christie's, New York (Painting. September 15, 2015)