Muqi or Muxi, also known as Fachang, was a Chinese Chan Buddhist monk and painter who lived in the 13th century, around the end of the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). Today, he is considered to be one of the greatest Chan painters in history. His ink paintings, such as the Daitokuji triptych and Six Persimmons are regarded as essential Chan paintings. Muqi's style of painting has also profoundly impacted painters from later periods to follow, especially monk painters in Japan.
During the Pre-iconic phase (5th–1st century BCE) artists were reluctant to depict the Buddha anthropomorphically, and developed sophisticated aniconic symbols to avoid doing so (even in narrative scenes where other human figures would appear).
This tendency remained as late as the 2nd century CE in the southern parts of India, in the art of the Amaravati School.
In Tibet the vast majority of surviving artworks created before the mid-20th century are dedicated to the depiction .
Bodhidharma was a semi-legendary Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch.
According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the monks of Shaolin Monastery that led to the creation of Shaolin kungfu.
The Chan (Zen in Japanese) school of Chinese Buddhism began when, in the 7th century, a small religious community gathered .