This impressive jade sculpture represents a Daoist paradise where immortals, cranes, and deer move through a mountainous landscape punctuated by pines, a waterfall, and a pavilion that stands beside a peach tree laden with fruit. Lower down the slope, a servant offers a platter of these "peaches of immortality" to two bearded figures. The otherworldly atmosphere is further enhanced by the meandering clouds that encircle the crest of the mountain. Jade, which is sonorous when struck but is harder than steel, has long been associated with moral virtue and immortality. The theme of reclusion within misty, fantastic realms appears in youxian (Wandering in Transcendence) poetry of the Six Dynasties period (220–589), and was a very popular painting subject beginning in the Tang dynasty (618–906).
Heber R. Bishop , New York (until 1902)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bishop Jades," March 30, 2004–February 12, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The "Hundred Antiques"," February 18, 2006–October 31, 2006.
Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "La Voie du Tao, un autre chemin de l'être," March 29, 2010–June 28, 2010.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extravagant Display: Chinese Art in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," December 14, 2010–May 1, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Passion for Jade: The Heber Bishop Collection," March 14, 2015–June 19, 2016.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings," June 25, 2016–October 9, 2017.