Height: 944.000 mm
Width: 392.000 mm
William Anderson Collection
Asia JA JP 347 (1881.12-10.03)
Angaja (Ingada), a hanging scroll painting
Kamakura-Muromachi period, 14th century AD
One of the Buddha's sixteen disciples
rakan) were disciples of
The Japanese artists took up the Chinese practice of a combination of painting styles. Here, the figure and lion are expressed in an older line-and-colour technique, with sweeping outlines for the arhat's robe and some fine detailed work in the lion's face and mane. The background is in the newer ink-painting style using a relatively dry brush. Altogether the effect is more informal than representations of Buddhas and bodhisattvas, emphasizing the humanity of the arhats so as to appeal to the popular imagination. In general, arhats are shown with Indian-looking features and the wasted limbs of aesthetes.
The artist is unknown, though this painting is similar in style to sets of arhats by the suiboku monk-painter Ryōzen who was active in Kyoto from about 1348 to 1355. Almost all his paintings are of Buddhist subjects.
I. Hirayama and T. Kobayashi (eds.), Hizō Nihon bijutsu taikan, vol. 1 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1992)
L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)