Christie's NY Lot 147

The Demon-queller Zhong Kui, 18th century

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Paintings like this one were customarily hung on doors during the May (Duanwu) Festival as a form of protection. The central vase contains sweet flag, a long-bladed grass with an aroma so strong it was deemed capable of warding off any poisonous insects and evil forces emerging with the warmer spring temperatures. The figure to the right, holding a sword, is Zhong Kui, a deity who exorcises ghosts and evil spirits. His image is often painted on household gates as a guardian spirit, and in businesses dealing in high-value goods.

The Demon-queller Zhong Kui
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Christie's NY Lot 147