Tibet, Hvashang

17th century, Tibet, arhat Hvashang, gilt copper with cold gold and pigments, same as before.

17th century, Tibet, Hvashang, gilt copper with cold gold and pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

In Tibet, Hvashang/Hva Shang, of Chinese origin, is regarded as the patron to the sixteen arhats. Sculptures often depict him as a pot-bellied, round-faced, smiling character seated on a square cushion and surrounded by children, possibly because over the centuries he has been conflated with the Chinese  monk Budai known as the ‘laughing buddha’ (in turned confused with the historical buddha). According to the scriptures, Hvashang  holds a persimmon fruit (sometimes a bowl of precious substances) in his left hand, he may also hold a wish-granting jewel in the other, as above.

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