Photo source: The Number One Statues


Lingyan Si, Jinan

This statue is a fictional portrait of the First Zen Patriarch in China, who traveled from India - where he is counted as the 28th Zen Patriarch - to East Asia during the Southern Song dynasty.

The beautiful and historically important "40 Arhat" statues in the Thousand-Buddha Hall of Lingyan Si are generally dated to the Song dynasty, although at least a few of them are Ming fabric over Song iron armatures (The Number One Statues, p. 5 ). The persons depicted range from Buddha's original disciples through Zen patriarchs and Lingyan temple founders. Their portraits are fictitious, although seemingly drawn from life models.