Three Taoist Paintings from the Ming Dinasty

Quadro a colori raffigurante due guardiani celesti di due punti cardinali; pittura su carta incorniciata; sec. XVIII-XIX; Musei Vaticani; Museo Missionario Etnologico

Inventory Number: 130706; 130705 ; 130704

These works are an excellent example of the “human figure” paintings of late Ming and Qing Dynasty and they represent the ability of the artists, a particularly high skill level in their use of color. Although the artists of these works are unknown, the paintings are surely those of great masters of high level. The paintings represent: “Heavenly Congregation”, Chinese heavenly gods among the clouds. The iconography of the image refers to the figures of Lei Gong “Lord of Thunder”, the Seven Stars “Ursa Major” in the human form, and other Celestial deities. “Islands of the Immortals”, the Baxian, where the eight immortals are in front of the Shouxing God of Longevity. These are historical figures, divine and legendary, especially venerated in the Taoism religion.
These mythical figures live in a group of islands in heaven and represent the spirit of immortality. According to the legend, Shouxing bears the actual herbs of immortality. Finally, “Yudi Emperor”, depicts the Jade Emperor seated on the dragon throne flanked on his right by Zhongkui, the Evils Catcher, and on his left Guan Gong, the God of War.