Guardians of the Law: Chinese Luohan Painting

December 2, 2003 – May 23, 2004

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Gallery 13 Floor Plan

Twenty-two late 12th- to 18th-century works as well as an 8th-century Tang ewer examine major trends in the evolution of Chinese luohan paintings as executed by both regional or court professionals and followers of literati traditions. Also included is a discussion of the current scholarship of the Eighteen Luohans, a new group that formed in the 8th century. Luohans are enlightened beings exempted by the great Buddha from the cycle of rebirth in order to act as guardians of the law.