; Lanxi, Zhejiang, China *
; Chengdu, China *
Guanxiu (Jiang Deyin or Deyuan, a Buddhist monk also named Master Chan Yue) -- painter during late Tang to Five Dynasties, specialized in painting lohan (arhat) figures. Legend has it that the first portraits of the 16 Lohans were painted by Guan Xiu, in 891 A.D.
According to records, it was because of his expert painting skill that the Lohans chose him to paint their portraits. They appeared to him in his dreams to make that request. Guan Xiu often said, "It was in a dream that I saw these Gods and Buddhas. After I woke up, I painted what I saw in the dream. So, I guess I can refer to these Arhats as 'Arhats in a dream.'" Guanxiu depicted lohans in the form of "those beyond this world"-- strangely eccentric. All 16 lohans have bushy eyebrows, large eyes, protruding cheekbones, a long nose, and an Indian or Central Asian countenance; thus it appears very different from that of native Chinese monks.
Guanxiu's Portraits of sixteen arhats in Shengyin Temple. It is recorded Guanxiu's 16 Lohans were given to a Buddhist monastery near Qiantang (currently Hangzhou) in the province of Zhejiang. These became famous and were preserved with great care and ceremonious respect. In the reign of Qianlong, Qing Dyansty (c. 1750) an official had copies made by competent artists and sent them to the emperor who had further copies made, printed and distributed. When it was found that names were incorrectly assigned, the emperor took care to see that the copies be compared with the originals and correctly transcribed. Sheng Yin Temple-- located near current Gushan (Solitary Hill) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. The temple was destroyed during 1850-1864 by an opposition group called "Taipingtianguo" ("Heavenly Kingdom of Peace").