Item No. 16717
18th - 19th Century, Buddhist, China
Wood with Polychrome
27.5" x 8.5" x 6.5"
( 69.85 x 21.59 x 16.51 cm)
(H x W x D)
Lohan are holy men who have achieved enlightenment through their Buddhist practices, spirituality and asceticism and are thus assured of attaining the final stage of nirvana when they die. Although they have achieved Enlightenment, Lohan have decided to remain on earth to protect and disseminate the principles of Buddhism.
Lohan were the first disciples of the Buddha who entrusted to them the protection of his teachings. They are revered for their perfect wisdom and knowledge of all things, as well as their ability to ensure perfection in others. They are well recognized for their great courage and supernatural powers.
Lohan are generally depicted in sculpture and paintings as elderly monks with shaved heads and wearing loose robes. They are the only form of Buddhist deities depicted in natural - versus idealized - forms and, thus, their faces are often unusually realistic. This lohan stands with his hands held in a gesture of respect and reverence. As a monk, his hair is shaved and he wears the simple long sleeved garments crossed at the neck. His face with a slight yet engaging smile attests to the fact that, as enlightened being, he knows the ways of the universe. He is carved on tall pedestal, to symbolize his spiritual significance.
This piece comes from Xian, Northern China.