Arhat (Nakula), one of a set of sixteen

Artist: Ryōzen (ca. 1328-ca. 1360)
Historical period(s)
Nanbokucho period, mid-14th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 115.2 x 59 cm (45 3/8 x 23 1/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Arhat, Buddhism, Japan, Nakula, Nanbokucho period (1333 - 1392)
Provenance research underway.

Arhats, known in Japanese as rakan, were disciples of the Historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. In some temples in East Asia, they were worshiped along with the Historical Buddha at ceremonies held to honor the wisdom and truth of the Buddha’s teachings, which they helped to spread after his death. This painting depicts one of the sixteen arhats who were the Historical Buddha’s closest disciples. The halo signifies that he has achieved enlightenment and release from cycles of birth, rebirth, and attendant suffering. This set of sixteen paintings plus a central image of Shakyamuni are attributed to the artist Ryozen, a leader of the atelier at Tofukuji, a major Zen Buddhist monastery in Kyoto. Before Charles Lang Freer purchased these works, they were in the collection of the renowned painter and lacquer artist Shibata Zeshin (1807–1891).

Published References
  • Butsuga Ruijyuu. vol. 1, Japan. .
  • Zaigai hiho [(Japanese Paintings in Western Collections]. 3 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2: pt. II, p. 45.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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