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HOME : Chinese Art : Yuan Dynasty : Panel Depicting a Scene of Immortality
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Panel Depicting a Scene of Immortality - H.027
Origin: China
Circa: 1279 AD to 1368 AD

Collection: Chinese
Medium: Stone

Location: United States
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The illustrative compositions of this panel are arranged in three successive stages.  In the lower stage, an oarsman steers a docking sailboat containing two passengers dressed in scholarly attire engaged in conversation.   The spatial and temporal distance is collapsed, imbuing this pictorial scene with the quality of transcendence.  The boat quickly arrives at the dock that is represented by stairs leading to the arched entrance of a walled community.  Inside the community, which is depicted in the middle stage, ornate pagoda-like structures and gardens rise above the walls that are being protected by guards--one is captured in the position of drawing a bow and arrow.  The face of a bearded man wearing a scholar cap can be seen through the window of a tiered structure.  The upper stage of the panel appears to represent the heavenly realm of immortality.  An energetic man riding a horse swings his arms high in the air grasping the reins of the horse in one hand and an emblem in the other.  He is accompanied by an attendant to the rear holding an umbrella and another walking ahead carrying an offering.  The panel is decorated with curled patterned borders representing foliage.     

Throughout Chinese history, stone panels were created to commemorate the passing of rites or events, often commissioned by wealthy families and patrons.  Many of these panels blended mythological Taoist ideas, Buddhist beliefs, and Confucian morality with events of actual life.  They provide rich historical data regarding the practice and belief system of any given period in China.
- (H.027)


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