Arhat (Bhadra), 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): 115.9 x 59.9 cm (45 5/8 x 23 9/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Arhat, Bhadra, Buddhism, Japan, Nanbokucho period (1333 - 1392)

Shibata Zeshin (1807-1895), purchased from Sanseizenji temple, Kyoto, 1855

Mr. Shibata, from his father, Shibata Zeshin, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Mr. Shibata, through Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), in 1904 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Accession List for purchase information, as well as the folder for F1904.295. See also, Original Kakemono and Makimono List, S.I. 6, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. One of a set of sixteen: F1904.295-F1904.310. Also see F1904.311-F1904.313.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Mr. Shibata (C.L. Freer source)
Shibata Zeshin 1807-1891
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


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. .
  • Mayuyama Junkichi. Japanese Art in the West. Tokyo. pl. 109B.
  • Zaigai hiho (Japanese Paintings in Western Collections). 3 vols., Tokyo. p. 44.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum