Set of four sliding door panels with decoration of Chinese Immortals

Cao Guojiu (left) and Lan Caihe (right) [left of the set Daoist Immortals], 1646

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These sliding door panels (fusuma) show a group of Chinese Daoist immortals. The Chinese believed the immortals were historical and legendary personages who, through moral virtue, faith, and discipline, managed to transcend the bounds of the natural world and live forever. They were worshiped as saints. Old Chinese themes like this were admired in Japan by military rulers and Zen priests, who exalted Chinese culture and its heroes.

This set of panels formed part of a much larger suite of paintings made for a temple in Kyoto. In the 1640s, Kano Sansetsu and his studio created hundreds of panel paintings for this temple. A devastating fire in the 1800s destroyed all but eight—the four panels you see here and four paintings that decorated their reverse, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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Sansetsu, Taoist Immortals (#163)
Details
Title
Cao Guojiu (left) and Lan Caihe (right) [left of the set Daoist Immortals]
Artist Life
1589 - 1651
Role
Artist
Accession Number
63.37.1
Provenance
Tenshō-in, Myōshinji, Kyoto; Mathias Komor (until 1963)
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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Set of four sliding door panels with decoration of Chinese Immortals