Imitating Kuan-hsiu’s Paintings of Lohans,
Hsu Yang (fl. 18th century),
Hsu Yang (sobriquet; Yun-t’ing), whose birth and death dates are unknown, was a native of Wu-hsien, Kiangsu. In 1751, having presented a painting to the Ch’ien-lung emperor (r. 1736-1795) and receiving his praise, Hsu Yang was summoned to the Painting Academy of the Inner Court as a Palace Attendant. He was a specialist in landscape painting and also excelled at depicting plum blossoms in monochrome ink. His figure paintings are less frequently seen, however.
This is a painting of two lohans seated cross-legged. One of them is handsome, dressed in monastic garb, and holding a sūtra scroll. In front of him is an attendant garb, and holding a sūtra scroll. In front of him is an attendant striking a ch’ing-instrument with a mallet. The other lohan wears long hair, a moustache and beard, and a robe with long sleeves. His eyes are closed in deep thought. Before him is a layman kneeling and bowing in worship. On the stone table behind the two lohans are such objects as a water bottle, incense burner, and sūtra scroll. The composition of the painting appears realistic. It is typical Ch’ing dynasty of lohans.