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Araniko
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Artist
    (1245-March 11, 1306)
    Born in Patan, Nepal
    Court artisan of Kublai Khan
    Introduced the Trans-Himalayan art to China
    Built White Stupa of Miaoying Temple in Beijing
    Constructed three stupas, nine Buddhist temples, two Confucian shrines, one Taoist temple, among many others
    Painted the portraits of Kublai Khan and his wife Chabi
    Named Director of All Artisan Classes (1273)
    His name is sometimes spelled as Arniko, Anige, or Aniko due to confusions in translation.
    Everything that's known about him comes from Chinese sources because there are no native Nepali records of him.
    He had eight wives: one Nepali, two Mongolian, and seven Chinese.
    In addition to his wives, he had six sons and eight daughters from all of them.
    He was an art prodigy as a child, excelling in calligraphy, painting, modeling, and image casting.
    At age seventeen, he was chosen to lead a group of eighty artisans to Lhasa.
    He was forbidden to return to his native Nepal after the completion of the stupa for the Sakya Monastery.
    His influence in Chinese art shaped the main goal of conveying physiognomy in later Chinese portraits.
    He was one of the few foreigners to have a biography written about him in imperial Chinese history.
    A highway connecting Kathmandu with Kodari is named after him.

Credit: Big Lenny


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