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16209

Seated Lohan, One of Pair with 16220, Priced Each
Item No. 16209

18th - 19th Century, Buddhist, China
Wood with Polychrome
25" x 11.5" x 9.75"
( 63.5 x 29.21 x 24.765 cm)
(H x W x D)

This image of a monk probably represents a lohan. He is seated on a backless raised pedestal, wearing a typical simple monk's robe, crossed at the neck, gracefully draped over the shoulders, arms and legs, and fastened with a green round clasp at the left shoulder. Both hands are hidden under the voluminous folds of the sleeves.

There are several symbolic features that indicate that this statue, and the other in the pair, represents lohans. He has a slight protuberance on top of his head, indicating his superior wisdom, and has pendulous ears, indicating his enlightened state. In China, pendulous ears are also associated with wisdom and being a sage.

Lohan is Chinese for the Sanskrit word, Arhat, the Worthies or Enlightened Beings of Indian Buddhism. Lohans have reached enlightenment through their Buddhist practices, reaching the end of the Eight-fold Path. They are freed from disease and death and saved for all eternity and are the protectors and guardians of the true followers of Buddhism. Groups of lohans were traditionally placed in groups of 18 to 500 individuals along the walls in a Mahayana Buddhist or Popular Religion temples throughout China.

Although they are considered semi deities, lohans are often depicted as a form of portraiture in which individual features and personality traits are highlighted rather than as idealized beings. In this statue, his face is finely yet realistically portrayed with deeply carved inset glass eyes that stare outward in calm serenity under his rounded eyebrows.

Select for detailed information about Lohan (Arhats) in Chinese Buddhist Art.

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