Although a professional painter, Ting Yun-p'eng's style was deeply influenced by Wu school literati artists with whom he studied during the 1570's and whose ancient paintings that he copied. Ting is best known for his Buddhist figure paintings rendered in a highly detailed archaistic style.
The eighteen arhats or lohans are enlightened disciples of Buddha and protectors of the Buddhist law. Many extravagant stories about the supernatural powers of these guardians have evolved. Chinese images of lohans are mainly derived from the work of a few T'ang dynasty (7th-8th century) painters and rather exotic descriptions given in Buddhist records. Each figure in this handscroll is identified with an accompanying colophon.
Ting was in great demand, and his basic style was not only widely imitated, but his own studio produced commissions in the style of the master which often bore his signature. While a competent work, the present painting is not likely from Ting Yun-peng's hand but from one of his followers.