Description This rubbing is of an engraving at Shaolin Temple in the Shantung province. The fat Chinese Buddhist monk Budai ("Cloth Bag"), said to have died around 900, was considered an incarnation of the Buddha of the Future. (Later representations of Budai are sometimes called "the laughing Buddha.") Once, when he was asked to discuss the nature of truth, Budai flung his cloth bag onto the ground in response. The poem at the top provides insight into the message: The Skin Bag is open and laughing heartily, Revealed are a skull and a variety of treasures; No need to discuss the mystic philosophies, After a thousand days, all will ascend to the Isle of the Immortals. (Translation by David Teh-yu Wang)
Provenance Mr. and Mrs. Laurance P. and Isabel Roberts, Baltimore, Maryland; given to Walters Art Museum, 1990.
Credit Gift of Laurance and Isabel Roberts, 1990
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