Jun 9, 2022
Sep 28, 2018
Sep 28, 2018
Jun 9, 2022
Jun 9, 2022
Jun 9, 2022
Jun 9, 2022
Jun 9, 2022

Li Taibo

Li Taibo

李太白

1700s

Amber

Overall: 5.7 cm (2 1/4 in.)

Gift of Lois Clarke 1970.131

Location

Did you know?

Li Bai was one of the Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup, Tang dynasty scholars who enjoyed drinking alcohol.

Description

This piece of ochre amber is carved in the round in the form of Li Bai 李白 (701–762), also known as Li Taibai or Li Taibo, 李太白. He was a poet in the golden age of Chinese poetry. Around a thousand poems are attributed to him.

Li’s eyes are closed, an arm wrapped around his wine jar, in a drunken sleep. Perched on his shoulder is a bat, considered a lucky symbol as the Chinese word for bat, 蝠 fú, is pronounced the same as “good fortune” 福. Deer, like the one nestled behind Li, traditionally symbolize longevity and prosperity. These auspicious symbols create a bittersweet contrast with the legendary story that Li drowned while drunk when reaching to grasp the moon's reflection in the river.

See also
Department: 
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Stone
Medium: 
Amber
Credit line: 
Gift of Lois Clarke

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.