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Dish with Zhang Guolao

Dish with Zhang Guolao

1662–1722

Porcelain with famille verte overglaze enamel and painted gold decoration (interior) and powder blue glaze with painted decoration (exterior)

Diameter: 4.6 x 19.8 cm (1 13/16 x 7 13/16 in.)

Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1989.306

Description

Zhang Guolao, featured on this dish, is one of the Eight Immortals and a gifted magician who was believed to know the secret arts to obtain longevity. Typically depicted as an old man and accompanied by his mule, he is the patron saint of artists. His mule is said to be magical; it can be folded up like a piece of paper to fit into a small bag. The central scene is framed by a sumptuously gold-decorated rim showing spaces reserved for landscape scenes in primarily fresh blue and green colors.

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