Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Daoist Immortal Laozi

Artist:
Chen Yanqing (active 15th century)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
dated 1438
Culture:
China
Medium:
Gilt brass; lost-wax cast
Dimensions:
H. 7 1/2 in. (19 cm); W. 4 3/4 in. (12 cm); D. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1997
Accession Number:
1997.139
Not on view
The full beard helps to identify this figure as Laozi (also known as the Celestial Worthy of the Way and Its Virtue), the author of the seminal Daoist text the Daodejing (The Way and Its Power). Daoism, a term used to define an amalgamation of beliefs and practices that includes metaphysical and philosophical speculations as well as more mundane attempts to achieve immortality, can be traced to the sixth century B.C. and the writings of the quasi-historical Laozi.
Inscription: On the underside of the front section of the robe is a long inscription, which has not been totally erased. The name of the donor is no longer legible, but the place name, the maker and date can all be read.
Zhejiang Province

[ J. J. Lally & Co. , New York, until 1997; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Millennium of Chinese Painting: Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," September 8, 2001–January 13, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Painting, Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," August 28, 2004–February 20, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of the Brush: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy," March 12, 2005–August 14, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Secular and Sacred: Scholars, Deities, and Immortals in Chinese Art," September 10, 2005–January 8, 2006.

Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "La Voie du Tao, un autre chemin de l'être," March 29, 2010–June 28, 2010.

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