Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Arhat/Sthavira (Buddhist Elder) - (multiple figures)

གནས་བརྟན། 罗汉
(item no. 69113)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Size 86.50x52.50cm (34.06x20.67in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Barbara and Walter Frey
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Arhat

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Vanavasin, Bhadra, Kalika, Kanaka Bharadvaja and Vajriputra from a set of paintings depicting Shakyamuni Buddha and the Sixteen Great Arhats. It is likely from a set of five paintings. Included in the composition are a group of sixteen siddhas from the larger group of Eighty-four Mahasiddhas according to the system of Vajrasana. (Left 1).

At the top of the composition are the siddhas: Ghantapa, (?), Saraha, Shantipa, Naropa, Lingbupa, Dharmakirti, Shavaripa, Buddhajnana, Indrabhuti, Madhapa, Parashu, Lawapa, Kotalipa, Tilopa, and Dharikapa.

The Arhat at the center is Bhadra with the right shoulder bare and the right hand upraised performing a gesture. At the viewers left is Vanavasin performing a gesture with the right hand and holding a fly-whisk with the left. On the right side is Kalika and holding a ring in each hand. At the bottom left, with part of the upper robe covering the head, is Kanaka Bharadvaja with the hands placed in the lap. On the right is Vajriputra with the right hand performing a gesture and the left holding up a fan decorated with peacock feathers.

In this painting set depicting Shakyamuni Buddha and the Sixteen Arhats the lower portion of the composition actually presents the arhats. The second subject of the composition, the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas, dominate the top half of each painting. (See other painting examples depicting combined subjects and number sets).

Jeff Watt 6-2009

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: [Tibetan language name inscriptions are provided below each Siddha and Arhat figure]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Arhat/Sthavira: Main Page & Arhat/Sthavira Appearance (Elder)
Painting Set: Arhats: Multiple Main Figures
Collection of Barbara and Walter Frey
Painting Type: Gold Fill Paintings
Painting Set: Elders & Mahasiddhas (Swiss)