Chinese Rubbings Collection

Sixteen Arhats at Shengyin Temple-- the 1st: Pindolabharadraja Arhat ; Shi liu zun zhe xiang ; Bin du luo ba luo zhui she zun zhe xiang bing zan ; 16 Lohans ; Sheng yin si shi liu zun zhe xiang di yi

Guanxiu, 832-912, Chinese, creator, painter (artist)
Qianlong, Emperor of China, r. 1736-1795, Chinese, creator, calligrapher
Creation Date:
early 20th century
Rubbing from stele depicting No. 1 of 16 arhats (Lohans, Buddhist saints) -- Bin du luo ba luo zhui she zun zhe, Pindolabharadraja. Original painting attributed to Guanxiu, 832-912. Inscriptions written by Hongli, Emperor Qianlong (Gaozong, 1711-1799) of Qing Dynasty. 3 seals of Qianlong follow the inscriptions.
117 x 52 cm.
No linguistic content
Digital Format:
stele (archaeology)
Buddhist monks
Buddhist temples
painting (image-making)
Style Period:
Five Dynasties
Citation/references: Beijing tu shu guan cang hua xiang ta ben hui bian, 1993, v. 7, p. 56 (Bin du luo ba luo duo she zun zhe xiang bing zan). ; Rakan, sono bijutsu to shinko : tokubetsuten, 1994, p. 127. ; Zhongguo mei shu jia ren ming ci dian, 1981, p. 946 (Guan Xiu). ; Zhongguo mei shu da ci dian, 2002, p. 55 (Guan Xiu). ; Zhongguo mei shu jia ren ming ci dian, 1981, p. 165 (Hongli).
General note: Script style: in xing shu. ; Shi liu zun zhe -- "The 16 noble ones" are 16 lohans. Lohans are also called "a-lo-han" based on the transliteration of the Sanskrit term "arhat." (Japanese: Rakan; Chinese: Lohan; Tibetan: Gnas-brtan). ; Arhats or Arahants are saints or sages said to have renounced nirvana (freedom from the cycle of suffering and rebirth), vowed to remain in the world to protect the Dharma and propagate the Law of the Buddha in order to devote themselves more effectively to the relief of human misery, like the Bodhisattvas. These 16 Arhats, personal disciples distinguished by the Buddha, formed part of the 500 claimed by tradition to have attended the First Council in Rajagrha. The names and abodes of these 16 arhats are given in a work entitled "Record on the Duration of the Law, spoken by the Great arhat Nadimitra," which was translated into Chinese by the famous pilgrim Xuanzang (596-664) in 654. 16 lohans are quite often represented, especially in China and Japan, in sculpture and painting, in poses and with attributes. Every lohan can be easily with special icongraphic characteristics. ; Guanxiu (Jiang Deyin or Deyuan, a Buddhist monk also named Master Chan Yue, 832-912) -- painter during late Tang to Five Dynasties, specialized in painting lohan figures. Legend has it that the first portraits of the 18 Lohans were painted by Guan Xiu, in 891 A.D. According to records, it was because of his expert painting skill that the Lohans chose him to paint their portraits. They appeared to ; him in his dreams to make that request. Guan Xiu often said, “It was in a dream that I saw these Gods and Buddhas. After I woke up, I painted what I saw in the dream. So, I guess I can refer to these Arhats as ‘Arhats in a dream.’” Guanxiu depicted lohans in the form of "those beyond this world"-- strangely eccentric. All 16 lohans have bushy eyebrows, large eyes, protruding cheekbones, a long nose, and an Indian or Central Asian countenance; thus it appears very different from that of native Chinese monks. ; Sheng yin si shi liu zun zhe xiang -- Guanxiu's Portraits of sixteen arhats in Shengyin Temple. It is recorded Guanxiu's 16 Lohans were given to a Buddhist monastery near Qiantang (currently Hangzhou) in the province of Zhejiang. These became famous and were preserved with great care and ceremonious respect. In the reign of Qianlong, Qing Dyansty (c. 1750) an official had copies made by competent artists and sent them to the emperor who had further copies made, printed and distributed. When it was found that names were incorrectly assigned, the emperor took care to see that the copies be compared with the originals and correctly transcribed. ; Sheng Yin Temple-- located near current Gushan (Solitary Hill) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang ; the temple was destroyed during 1850-1864 by an opposition group called "Tai ping tian guo" ("Heavenly Kingdom of Peace"). ; F-41 (117 x 52 cm) duplicate.
Historical: Stele date: 8th. mo. of 29th yr. of Qianlong, Qing dynasty (1764).
Fine Arts Library, Special Collections, Harvard University
HOLLIS Record:
Record ID: