Ancient Art International

Ancient Chinese Head of Luohan

Item Number: 10145
$13,500.00
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Period:
MING DYNASTY 1368-1644 CE
Dimensions:
11" (28 cm) without stand; 14 1/2" (35cm) with stand
Material:
Stucco
Condition:
Excellent with small restoration to earlobes and tip of nose and stabilized cracking as is normal with lacquer of this age
Region:
China
Provenance:
Acquired in England in the 1960’s from an old English collection

Description

A large and powerful example of stucco head of Luohan (or arhat) with his bulging eyes. Luohans were commanded by Buddha to await the coming of Maitreya, the Future Buddha. This promise of salvation held great appeal to Chinese Buddhists at the end of the ninth century, for they had just been through a period of great persecution, and a cult built around the Luohans as guardians gained momentum at that time. Luohans had escaped the endless cycle of death and rebirth in Buddhist teachings. They chose to remain in this world to spread the Buddha's message.
Luohans adorned the great Buddhist cave temples, hewn from the mountains of Northern and Central China. These caves were vandalized at various periods so many sculptures only survive as fragments. That makes us more fortunate to have this piece surviving in such good condition.

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