Nahan and Dragon
MediumInk, color on silk
DimensionsImage : 25 x 13 1/4 in. (63.5 x 33.66 cm)
Frame : 43 1/4 x 29 3/4 in. (1.1 m x 75.57 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
LabelNahan is the Korean name for Buddhist saints who have achieved enlightenment and vowed to protect the Buddha’s teachings and transmit them to future generations. They are often depicted as ascetic monks, sitting in meditation with intense facial expressions. This painting probably once belonged to a set of either sixteen or eighteen nahan images and was likely made to hang in the meditation hall of a Buddhist temple. The colorful brushwork reflects a style that was brought to Korea from China by Buddhist monks in the 14th century.