VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Sitting arhat with a vase
MNK VI-7853
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The displayed figurine refers toiconographic standards emphasising the hermitic lifestyle of an arhat. It also features the use of a valuable champleve technique and the sublety of the matching artificial patina toindicate the noble dimention of spiritual wealth - the multihued values beyond the sensual world.

History of the Object
The disciples of the Buddha,known in Sanskrit as arhats,were considered to be the most perfect beings striving for salvation. However, they consciously refrain from entering the state of nirvana in order to help people break free from the earthlycircle of suffering. The second century marks the beginning of the belief that an arhat is a form of an inner entity,employed by the Buddha in order to teach. In the 10th century, depictions of arhats, who were believed to have been granted custody of the Law by the Buddha Shakyamuni, became a very important motif in visual arts. Interpreted as sages engaging in long periods of fasting and meditation, they were presented as emaciated men dresssed in Modest clothes. Referring to the preliminary results of research conducted by dr Peter Wiedehage, the arhat statuette was the most probably made in an atelier situated in the south of China, near Hangzhou.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
cast in bronze, champleve enamel, cloissonne enamel 
Measurements
depth 19.0 cm 
Creator name
Signature / studio: 鐘美堂作  
Creator date
 
Where it was made
South China, near Hangzhou 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), 18th century 
Function
Decorative art 
Acquisition
Donated by Karol Skórzewski, 1946 
Copyright
The National Museum in Krakow 
Acknowledgements
Beata Romanowicz, Curator of the Far Eastern Art. Department, The National Museum in Krakow 
Owner
The National Museum in Krakow 
Museum
The National Museum in Krakow 
Credit line
 
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