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Album, ink on paper
Sheet: 34.3 x 38.4 cm (13 1/2 x 15 1/8 in.)
John L. Severance Fund in honor of Dr. Ju-hsi Chou and Gift of various donors to the department of Asian Art (by exchange) 2004.1.4
Leaf 4 depicts one of the sanguan (Three Officials of Heaven, Earth, and Water) in the Daoist pantheon. These "officials" work as intermediaries between human beings and the bureaucracy of the netherworld. This deity, riding on a lively steed, most likely represents the "Official of Earth" 地官. Leading the way, his entourage includes a host of protective guards who carry his sword and chair, hoist his parasol and flags, or simply hold their own weapons. Trailing behind is a demonic figure carrying a hunting dog on his shoulder. These figures all walk on clouds, moving along with a strong wind that causes the parasol and flags to flutter, creating a sense of overall motion.
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