Location: On Display in the Asia Galleries

From: China | Hebei | Yixian

Curatorial Section: Asian

View All (6) Object Images

Object Number C66A
Current Location Asia Galleries - On Display
Culture Chinese | Buddhist
Provenience China | Hebei | Yixian
Period Liao Dynasty (uncertain) | Jin Dynasty (uncertain)
Date Made 10th century - 13th century CE
Section Asian
Materials Clay | Glaze
Technique Fired | Glazed | Three Color Glaze
Iconography Luohan

Pottery figure of luohan found in cave near Yizhou, present day Yixian county in Hebei province. It is made of soft white pottery with a polychrome glaze and somewhat larger than life size. The Luohan is seated cross-legged in the conventional attitude of meditation. Luohans, also known as arhats, are accomplished Buddhist disciples. They are one of the only Buddhist images that offer a sculptor the opportunity for realism. The portrait-like qualities of this luohan, with his unique and expressive facial features, are emphasized to convey his mortality. He wears an outer garment called the kāṣāya (Chinese: jiasha), which is draped to purposely show the right shoulder and arm, revealing the green undergarment, a symbol that he is trying to help save sentient beings. This luohan was originally part of a group of sixteen or eighteen figures, although luohan groups can reach as many as five hundred. Luohan like this often were placed along the sidewalls in a monastery hall. Eight of the group survive in other collections, including the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Matsukata Collection and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Height 105 cm
Width 64 cm
Credit Line Purchased from Worch of Paris, 1914
Other Number Getz 1 - Other Number

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