The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 24, 2024

The Five Hundred Arhats

The Five Hundred Arhats

1591–1626
(Chinese, active c. 1591–1626)
Overall: 39.5 x 2646.5 cm (15 9/16 x 1041 15/16 in.); Painting only: 37.7 x 2347 cm (14 13/16 x 924 in.)
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

Far advanced on the path to enlightenment, arhats have the capacity to tame tigers, free dragons, and to float on water or in the air.

Description

More than 66 feet long, this handscroll depicts 447 luohans, 72 attendants, and the bodhisattva of compassion at its very end. Luohans (arhats in Sanskrit), disciples of the Buddha and protectors of the Buddha’s law, possess supernatural powers and take on myriad external appearances. The amusing assortment of characters are engaged in an array of religious, secular, and miraculous activities. The painter used stylistic features borrowed from earlier artists, carefully controlled lines, and refined coloring.
Wu Bin was a lay Buddhist and depicting this sort of image was part of a religious practice seeking understanding of the Buddha’s teaching.
  • 1736–95
    Qing imperial collection (seals of Emperor Qianlong, r. 1736–1795)
    1960s?
    Cheng Qi 程琦 [1911–1988] by descent to his son, Stephen O. K. Chen
    ?-1971
    Stephen O. K. Chen [20th century], New York, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    1971-
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Bi dian zhu lin shi ju bao ji xu bian 秘殿珠林石渠寶笈續编. Taibei: Guo li gu gong bo wu yuan [National Palace Museum], 1971.(original text dated 1793) ch. 4, p. 55(b)
    Chen, Rentao 陳仁濤 [J.D. Chen]. Gu gong yi yi shu hua mu jiao zhu 故宮已佚書畫目校注. Hong Kong: Dongnan shu ju, 1956. p. 40(a)
    Cahill, James. The Restless Landscape: Chinese Painting of the Late Ming Period. Berkeley, CA: University Art Museum, 1971. Reproduced: cat. no. 77
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 351 archive.org
    Ho, Wai-kam, Sherman E. Lee, Laurence Sickman, and Marc F. Wilson. Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting: The Collections of the Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, in cooperation with Indiana University Press, 1980. Reproduced: p. 263, cat. no. 205
    Andrews, Julia Frances. The Significance of Style and Subject Matter in the Painting of Cui Zizhong. PhD dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1984. Reproduced: fig. 14, p. 298
    Burkus, Anne Gail. The Artefacts of Biography in Chʻen Hung-Shou's Pao-Lun-Tʻang Chi. PhD dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1987. Reproduced: fig. 46, p. 637
    Barnhart, Richard M., Xin Yang, Chongzheng Nie, James Cahill, Shaojun Lang, and Hung Wu. Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting. New Haven: Yale University Press; Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1997. Reproduced: p. 238, no. 222.
    Shi, Shouqian 石守謙. Cong feng ge dao hua yi: fan si Zhongguo mei shu shi 從風格到畫意: 反思中國美術史 . Taibei: Shi tou chu ban, 2010. Mentioned and Reproduced: p. 298, fig. 185
    Chou, Ju-hsi and Anita Chung. Silent poetry: Chinese paintings from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2015. Reproduced: pp. 299-307
    Chou, Ju-hsi and Anita Chung. Silent poetry: Chinese paintings from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2015. Reproduced: pp. 299-307
  • The Restless Landscape: Chinese Painting of the Late Ming Period. University of California, Berkeley. University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA (organizer) (November 9, 1971-January 2, 1972); Fogg Art Museum/Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (February 11-April 2, 1972).
    Year in Review: 1971. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (December 28, 1971-February 6, 1972).
    Asian Autumn: Masterpieces from the Collection. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (September 17, 1991-January 5, 1992).
    The Art of Obaku. Kyoto National Museum (organizer) (October 5-November 7, 1993).
    Silent Poetry: Masterworks of Chinese Painting. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (November 14, 2015-April 24, 2016).
    Taming Tigers and Releasing Dragons: Masterpieces of Chinese Buddhist Art – Chinese Gallery Rotation 240a, 241c. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (February 8-August 11, 2019).
    Escaping to a Better World: Eccentrics and Immortals in Chinese Art (Chinese art rotation). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (May 13-November 6, 2022).
    Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (February 10-March 29, 1981).
    Chinese Rotation (Gallery 122). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (July 21, 1999-April 26, 2000).
    Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 122). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (August 1, 2002-July 23, 2003).
  • {{cite web|title=The Five Hundred Arhats|url=false|author=Wu Bin|year=1591–1626|access-date=24 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1971.16