Important écran Imperial en jade céladon, Dynastie Qing, époque Qianlong. Estimation 30,000 — 50,000 EUR. Photo Sotheby’s
un côté finement incisé et doré des huit lohans dans un paysage escarpé planté d’arbres d’après une peinture de Ding Guanpeng, huit poèmes extraits du texte de l’Empereur Qianlong intitulé Guanxiu hua shiliu yingzhen xiang zan (Eloge des seize lohans peints par Guan Xiu) incisés en haut à droite, l’autre côté incisé et doré de cinq dragons à la poursuite de la perle enflammée parmi des nuages; 18,5 x 26,5 cm; 7 1/4 by 10 3/8 in.
AN IMPORTANT IMPERIALLY INSCRIBED CELADON JADE SCREEN DEPICTING EIGHT LUOHAN IN A LANDSCAPE SETTING AFTER A PAINTING BY DING GUANPENG (ACTIVE 1708-1771) AND WITH EULOGIES BY THE QIANLONG EMPEROR, QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Notes: The text on the present jade screen bears the title Guan Xiu hua shiliu yingzhen xiang zan (Encomium for the Sixteen Arhats Painted by Guan Xiu) and is taken from the Yuzhi wenji (Prose Collection Of His Majesty), chuji (First Collection) (Siku quanshu ed.), juan 29:1a-4a. In order of sequence, they may be transcribed and translated as follows:
1. Jin ding wei A Ayingji da zunzhe wei diyi (Now determined to be the Arhat Aṅgaja, positioned the first)
‘Wearing a hundred-patch robe and leaning on a proper bamboo staff, his Vedic ritual texts in a book case, he stares straight across his chest, his akshamalika there. He looks as if he has remembered something, but what he remembers is not nothing, there are no words for it.’
Followed by the seals moyun « Ink cloud » (Victoria Contag and Wang Chi-Ch’ien, Seals of Chinese Painters and Collectors of the Ming and Ch’ing Periods, Hong Kong, 1966, no. 159, p. 588); cibei « Mercy ».
2. Jin ding wei Azida zunzhe wei di’er (Now determined to be the Arhat Ajita, positioned the second)
‘Grasping his knees he sits alone, utterly oblivious, seemingly free from all mind. But his mind is that of a bodhisattva, while his appearance is that of a king of hungry ghosts. With his left hand he applies sandalwood fragrance, and with his right he cuts with a sharp sword. But what hatred, what mercy does he ever feel, since he is equally free of both!’
Followed by the seals: possibly fengge yin « Seal of the Pavilion of Breezes »; Yu wu chun « Provide things with spring ».
3. Jin ding wei Banabaxi zunzhe wei disan (Now determined to be the Arhat Vanavasin, positioned the third)
‘Eyes closed amidst the crags, he grasps non-arising and so attains perfect patience. As if flowing water or scudding clouds, phenomena and principle all vanish, and moment by moment he just takes things as they come—thoughts happen and there they just are. So even this good kalpa with its buddhas with awe-inspiring voice, is for him gone in the blink of an eye.’
Followed by the seals: qiwu “Regard all things as equal” (Contag and Wang no. 165, p. 588); hanxu langjian “Let your bright mirror reflect as water reflects the sky”(Contag and Wang, no. 186, p. 589).
4. Jin ding wei Galiga zunzhe wei disi (Now determined to be the Arhat Kālika, positioned the fourth)
‘Shaking the rock, he leans his knee on it and there takes his rest. It is only this superior being, neither speaking nor silent, who has such eyebrows that trail to the ground. As he pulls them up by hand, does he not seem to be sorting through clouds, and this shows how very fine they are.’
Followed by the seals: zhiwei yu danbo « Ultimate flavour resides in the perfectly bland » (Contag and Wang, no. 90, p. 586);Kuoran dagong « Boundless impartiality ».
5. Jin ding wei Bazalibudala zunzhe wei diwu (Now determined to be the Arhat Vajraputra, positioned the fifth)
‘Visage with high forehead and prominent nose, in his person a haunted look, yet friendliness is somehow in it—who knows how! He has taken the sutras and thrown them to the ground, for his task of practicing and studying is finished. Though Buddhahood still abides not in him, how much the less is non-buddhahood there!’
Followed by the seals: biduan zaohua « Workings of creation from the tip of a brush » (Contag and Wang, no. 89, p. 586)；xuzhong chengzhao « Let loyalty free of self-interest purely gleam » (Contag and Wang, no. 94, p. 586).
6. Jin ding wei Bahada zunzhe wei diliu (Now determined to be the Arhat Bhadra, positioned the sixth)
‘Head consecrated with water, he has a big square jaw and wears a monk’s robe. When he chanted gāthās about the seven past buddhas, everyone could hear him. Eyes aware to the emptiness of phenomenal appearance, he let sandpiper and clam perish in deadlock. Now he sits in lotus position, his task as itinerant monk finished.’
Followed by the seals: Rushi guan « See things as they really are » (Contag and Wang, no. 125, p. 587); huiyue you se shui you sheng « Painting the moon there is colour and if water there is sound » (Contag and Wang, no. 141, p. 587).
7. Jin ding wei Ganagabasa zunzhe wei diqi (Now determined to be the Arhat Kanakavatsa, positioned the seventh)
‘In a former life he was Drinker of Light and in a later life he was Huili. From Vulture Peak in India he knew to fly here. Though he has several pairs of straw boots and a single bamboo staff, these he may put aside and forever dwell at Source of Holiness.’
Followed by the seals: Xiexin “Expresses Heart and Mind” (Contag and Wang, no. 123, p. 587); yi qingfen “Scoop up pure fragrance”.
8. Jin ding wei Ganagabahalazhuiza zunzhe wei diba (Now determined to be the Arhat Kanakabharadvāja, positioned the eighth)
‘For the five aggregates and six consciousnesses, actuality and illusion, similarities and differences, he just raises a single finger, though he’s not that fellow Tianlong. He dwells amidst trees and rocks, and hair sprouts from his hands and feet. Why not trim them? But who would trim a wild boar or deer?’
Followed by the seals: bihua moyu “Brush blossoms and ink rain” (Contag and Wang, no. 139, p. 587); Chaori hui “Morning sun gleams” (Contag and Wang, no. 98, p. 586).
The depiction of the Eight Luohan on one side of the present jade panel is based on a series of sixteen scrolls featuring the sixteen luohan painted by the court painter Ding Guanpeng (active 1708-1771) after a a series of sixteen paintings of the same subject originally by the Tang dynasty Chan master Guan Xiu (832-912). They were commissioned from Ding Guanpeng by the Qianlong emperor after a visit to the Shengyin monastery in Hangzhou in 1757 and accompanied by eulogies composed by the Qianlong emperor which were included in the Yuzhi wenji (Prose Collection Of His Majesty). The same eulogies and depictions of the sixteen luohan appear on two well-known pairs of eight-fold screen similarly commissioned by the Qianlong emperor shortly after his visit to the Shenyin monastery for the Cloud Radiance Hall (Yunguanglou) in the Forbidden City, see Patricia Ann Berger, The Empire of Emptiness. Buddhist Art and Political Authority in Qing China, University of Hawai’i, 2003, pp. 127-141.
Sotheby’s. Arts d’Asie. Paris | 11 déc. 2014, 10:30 AM