Antique Wood and Lacquer Hooded Monk (Lohan), China (16098BSK) $595


H: 13.25”  W: 7.5”  D: 6.25” | FREE SHIPPING

This finely carved Lohan carved to be viewed on all sides sits in meditation his serene expression of inward concentration enhanced with his downcast eyes. He wears a hooded robe with a traditional shoulder ring and a cowl at the neck and wide sleeves that drapes to the base.  His highly decorated robes with gilt highlights are unusual, as Lohans generally wear unadorned monastic robes. This image is more youthful rather than a traditional  elderly monk.



Early Chinese Mahayana images portrayed Lohans as followers of the Buddha, living in the human world in human forms.Through their spirituality and asceticism they achieved enlightenment and were no longer subject to rebirths in the cycle of samsara but choose to not enter nirvana and remain as guardians to preserve Buddhist teachings and protect the Buddhist faith. Their depiction as monks changed in the 16th century to absorb traits of Taoist immortals: sages with magical powers, perfect knowledge of all things including the secret of immortality who could elicit perfection in others. Their legends and characteristics continually changed so that they differed among dynasties and locations. This provincial antique-Chinese-wood-carving sits in meditation (dhyana mudra), covered legs in padmasana wearing monks robes associated with Lohan images that include a hood with a traditional shoulder ring and a cowl crossed at the neck that drapes over his shoulders, arms, and legs. However, unlike the modest monks attire associated with a Lohan, his high collar border at the neck, apron and robe covering the knees are decorated with raised curvilinear designs of wire-like strands of dough made from incense ash, are highlighted with gilt. Made to be viewed on all sides, the front and back are painted in bright red covered with a thin lacquer coat. Unlike other beings who have reached enlightenment who are idealized and adhere to proscribed Buddhist tenets, Lohans are often depicted in naturalistic form with individual features and personality traits. During the Ming and Qing dynasties these images tended to be syncretic and based on local practices representing Chinese physical and cultural characteristics and reflecting Chinese daily lives. Larger Lohans were displayed in Buddhist Temple halls, although smaller like this may have been placed in a smaller clan temple. This carving is in very good condition with much original lacquer and pigment with some losses, fading, and flaking consistent with age. This piece is part of the VA Collection of Buddhist-Art.


Additional information

Weight 9 lbs
Dimensions 18 × 12 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique (1200-1920)


Late 18th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 13.25” W: 7.5” D: 6.25”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 33.655cm W: 19.05cm D: 15.875cm


4 lbs


Very good, see description

Item Number

16098 BSK

Shipping Box Size