The early followers, known as “Worthy Ones” (Arhats), included Rahula, a son born to the Buddha before he undertook his quest for enlightenment. Rahula is portrayed as dignified and gentle—an ideal monk. He can be recognized by the crown he holds, a gift bestowed upon him for teachings he gave in the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods. This painting reflects Chinese models: the landscape recedes in space; clouds drift through the sky; and a burly figure steers a dragon at the bottom of the picture. Rahula, though an Indian prince by birth, here looks distinctly Chinese.


  • Title: Rahula
  • Date Created: 16th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 31.5 x 18.5 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, F1997.17.15
  • Medium: Pigments on cloth
  • Place of Creation: Tibet
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Gateway to Himalayan Art" (06/13/12 - TBD), Rubin Museum of Art, "Patterns of Life: The Art of Tibetan Carpets" (04/08/11 - 08/22/11), Rubin Museum of Art, "Earthly Immortals: Arhats in Tibetan Painting" (04/04/08 - 08/18/08), Rubin Museum of Art, "What is it? Himalayan Art" (10/27/05 - 06/05/06), Rubin Museum of Art, "Paradise and Plumage: Chinese Connections in Tibetan Arhat Painting" (03/05/05 - 05/22/05), Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, "Paradise and Plumage: Chinese Connections in Tibetan Arhat Painting" (09/25/04 - 01/02/05), Rubin Museum of Art, Reception for Asia Week (03/24/04)

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