The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 30, 2016

Raft Cup, 1345

hammered silver soldered together, with chased decoration, Overall: h. 16.00 cm (6 1/4 inches). John L. Severance Fund 1977.7

The silver cup is based upon the theme of Zhang Qian, a traveler and Daoist transcendent, embarking on his journey to the Milky Way. Here, he sits in a raft in the form of a tree trunk, holding a tablet in his hand. In absolute freedom he exposes his chest and raises his head, totally transfixed by the wonders of the universe. While serving a functional purpose, this raft cup expresses the artist’s imagination of Daoist freedom and the search for mystical oneness with the universe.

signed and dated

London: Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1915: "Exhibition of Chinese Art," cat. no. 55, plate IX [where box is also illustrated]
London, 1935-36: "International Exhibition of Chinese Art," cat. no. 1034
Paris, Musée Cernuschi, 1954: "La Decouverte de l'Asie: Hommage a René Grousset," catalogue no. 447, plate 28
CMA 1968: "Chinese Art under the Mongols: The Yüan Dynasty (1279-1368)," cat. no. 37, reproduced
CMA 1977: "Year in Review 1977," cat. CMA Bulletin (1965), no. 1, Jan. 1978, cat. 128, repr. p. 33
CMA 1988: "Realm of the Immortals: Daoism in the Arts of China," cat. no. 19

The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/28/2009 - 08/30/2009); "Streams and Mountains Without End: Asian Art and the Legacy of Sherman E. Lee at the Cleveland Museum of Art"

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