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Wine Jar with Eight Immortals

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)

This jar was originally catalogued as a later Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) object, but recent scholarly examination has identified it as an important fourteenth-century example of the theme of the Eight Daoist Immortals. This Wine Jar exemplifies the application of decoration, ostensibly religious in character, to an object intended for everyday use. The Eight Immortals, like the many images of palaces and paradise gardens that are also borrowed from Daoist mythology, represent the hope for long life and abundant good fortune in the present world.

MEDIUM High-fired green ware (celadon)
  • Place Made: Zhejiang, China
  • DATES 1271-1368
    DYNASTY Yuan Dynasty
    PERIOD Yuan Dynasty
    DIMENSIONS 10 x 10 15/16 x 11 5/8 in. (25.4 x 27.8 x 29.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
    CREDIT LINE The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Wine Jar with Eight Immortals, 1271-1368. High-fired green ware (celadon), 10 x 10 15/16 x 11 5/8 in. (25.4 x 27.8 x 29.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins, 52.49.33. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 52.49.33_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 52.49.33_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Storage jar with 8 Immortals Crossing the Waters (ba xian guo hai) depicted on the belly. The 8 immortals are Lu Dongbin, Zhong Liquan. Zhang Guolao, Lan Caihe, Tie Guaili, Han Xianzhi, Zhao Guojiu, He Xiangu. Legends say since they have magical powers, they can cross the seas. Thus the designs have billowing waves and cloud patterns, and generally are carved in relief. Unglazed interior base, rim, and circular foot. Thick blue-green glaze on entire vessel. Figures of 8 immortals are unglazed. After secondary oxidization, the red color body complements the blue-green glaze. Lipped mouth; raised belly; constricted lower belly; wide and thick circular foot. Fret-scroll (hui wen) encircling neck. Incised chrysanthemum petals encircle foot. Condition: Intact.
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