Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Nahan (Chinese, Luohan) Riding a Spotted White Deer in a Landscape While Assisted by an Elderly Male Attendant
Work Type
18th-early 19th century
Creation Place: East Asia, Korea
Chosŏn dynasty, 1392-1910
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Section of a hanging scroll mounted on a panel and framed; ink and colors on paper
painting proper: H. 49.8 x W. 46 cm (19 5/8 x 18 1/8 in.)
frame: H. 71.8 x W. 61 cm (28 1/4 x 24 in.)
John M. Lyden, New York, (1965-1987). [Kang Collection, New York (by 1995)], sold; Ralph C Marcove, New York (1995-2001), inherited; by Christina J. Marcove, New York (2001-2015), gift; to the Harvard Art Museums.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Christina Marcove and Laura Marcove Hoffman in honor of Robert D. Mowry
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This painting is mounted and framed as a discrete album leaf. Done in ink and colors on paper, the painting, which might originally have been mounted as a hanging scroll, presumably came from a larger set of multiples, each representing an arhat (Korean: nahan; Chinese: luohan) -- saintly, enlightened beings who protect the Buddhist faith. This painting depicts an arhat sitting on the back of a spotted white deer in the center of the composition. The arhat's grayish blue monk’s robe sports modest decoration painted in gold; his patchwork cape boasts squares of red fabric embellished with gold designs within black borders. At the right edge of the composition stands an attendant dressed in a red robe, a large hat made of spotted bamboo hangs from a string around the attendant's neck and rests at the middle of his back. The two figures appear in a confined landscape of the archaistic blue-and-green type. Sprigs of bamboo crown the tall rock that rises at the left edge, while a plant with orange blossoms grows at its base. A banana plant and stylized flowers decorate the faceted rock that borders the right edge. A rippling stream crosses the center of the composition, separating the even-toned green foreground from the distant background.
Exhibition History

Paragons of Wisdom and Virtue: East Asian Figure Painting, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 02/15/1997 - 09/21/1997

32Q: 3620 University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/17/2017 - 05/08/2017

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at