three robed figures standing at the base of a waterfall at L; branches of a blossoming tree at top; man at R holds a fan, while center man stands in profile with open mouth, and clasped hands; man at L is holding up one hand

Daoist Figures, late 15th-early 16th century

Three figures stand in a mountainous landscape and bid farewell to each other. Their attributes identify them as three of the Eight Immortals from the Daoist tradition. The Eight Immortals are legendary beings, each representing a different condition of life: poverty, wealth, aristocracy, low social rank, age, youth, masculinity, and femininity. Zhong Liquan is on the right and holds a large fan that can resurrect the dead and transform stones into silver or gold. Zhang Guolao, who characterizes old age, is in the center, with a tube-shaped bamboo drum strapped to his back. Cao Guojiu is on the left, dressed in official robes and holding a wine jar; he is regarded as the patron deity of acting and theater. The painting is likely the work of Liu Jun, a court painter of the Ming dynasty, whose work is characterized by dramatic scenes populated with figures.

Details
Title
Daoist Figures
Artist Life
active c. 1475- c. 1505
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.9
Curator Approved

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three robed figures standing at the base of a waterfall at L; branches of a blossoming tree at top; man at R holds a fan, while center man stands in profile with open mouth, and clasped hands; man at L is holding up one hand