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National Treasure Gallery | The Third of the Sixteen Arhats

"National Treasure Gallery | The Third of the Sixteen Arhats"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 2  January 18, 2022 (Tue) - February 13, 2022 (Sun)

  
The Third of the Sixteen Arhats (detail), Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)

The Sixteen Arhats were the foremost disciples of the Buddha. Before he died, the Buddha entrusted them with protecting his teachings and helping others attain enlightenment. Over 900 years old, this image is from the oldest surviving set of paintings depicting the Sixteen Arhats in Japan. It has two key features: The arhat’s form is based on similar paintings from China’s Tang dynasty (618–907), which greatly influenced early Buddhist art in Japan. The second feature is the understated color palette, which reflects the refined tastes of the court nobility, the leading patrons of Buddhist art in 11th-century Japan.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 1 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Highlight National Treasure The Third of the Sixteen Arhats Heian period, 11th century A-10946-3