Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Nahan (Chinese, Luohan) Standing in a Landscape Viewing an Ink-Painted Scroll Depicting a Seated Bodhisattva 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 clad in a pink monk’s robe, embellished with a red sash and a green cape, standing at the left edge of the composition beside a tall blue-and-green rock and beneath an old, gnarled tree branch with red and green foliage. A halo encircles the arhat's head. Dressed in a russet robe and wearing a black hat with long ribbons trailing at the back, an attendant stands at the right edge of the composition. The attendant holds the upper edge of a hanging scroll, which the arhat is unrolling. The scroll, which represents an ink painting and which is mounted in red and black, represents a bodhisattva seated on a rock. A green rock occupies the lower left corner of the composition; the even-toned green ground that traverses the foreground fades away in the middle and backgrounds to suggest distant space.
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