male figure at lower half of image with a halo, two bald spots, fluffy black hair, and a close-trimmed beard and moustache, wearing a black and red cloak

Sakyamuni, one of a pair, 13th century

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A professional painter, Yan Hui was especially known for his figure paintings of religious subjects. Here he depicted Sakyamuni (left), an Indian prince from the 400s BCE, whose teaching forms the underpinnings of Buddhism; and Bodhidharma (right), an Indian sage from the 500s CE, who advocated practicing meditation as a means of achieving spiritual enlightenment. Sakyamuni’s quiet, introspective character is suggested by his downcast eyes and gently inclined head, whereas Bodhidharma’s aggressive nature is conveyed by his direct gaze. Yan’s choice of red for the robes of both holy men provides a visual connection between the two paintings.

Details
Title
Sakyamuni, one of a pair
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.34.2.1
Curator Approved

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male figure at lower half of image with a halo, two bald spots, fluffy black hair, and a close-trimmed beard and moustache, wearing a black and red cloak