Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Investiture of a Daoist Deity

Artist:
Unidentified Artist
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
inscription dated 1641
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink color, and gold on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 19 in. × 30 ft. 3/4 in. (48.3 × 916.3 cm) Overall with mounting: 19 in. × 34 ft. 1 in. (48.3 × 1038.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
38.31.1
Not on view
This painting, an unsigned work of a provincial atelier, is a rare example of popular religious art. Modeled on imperial commendation scrolls, with their ornamental borders of dragons chasing flaming pearls, the scroll illustrates the investiture of a local god into the Daoist pantheon. The first half of the scroll depicts the court of the Jade Emperor, supreme deity of popular Daoism. The enthroned emperor is flanked by four female attendants, four high officials, and two constellations of star deities, as well as guardians of the east and west, who are accompanied by their directional emblems, the dragon and tiger. Approaching this assembly is a file of haloed deities who have entered the sacred precincts through a pair of heavenly gates. The second half of the scroll depicts the entourage of the local god, including standardbearers with emblems of his status, a white charger, a palanquin with eight porters, guardians of the four directions, four attendants carrying incense burners, and figures bearing his sword and seals. This procession ends with a depiction of the local god, shown larger than life to emphasize his importance. In the sky above, a heavenly messenger appears bearing the scroll of the god's investiture.

Following the painting is a transcription of the petition made to the Celestial Master of the Orthodox Unity sect, headquartered at Dragon-Tiger Mountain (Longhu shan) in Jiangxi Province, requesting that the local god, Li Zhong, be recognized as a member of the pantheon. The petition is dated A.D. 1157, but both it and the painting are likely to be copies, probably created during the Ming dynasty. The terminus ante quem for the scroll is established by two appended colophons, both dated 1641.
Inscription: No artist's inscription, signature, or seal

Label strip

Unidentified artist, 1 column in standard script, undated (in Japanese on the wooden box)

宋道教繪卷物,紹興二拾七年銘。


Colophons

1 Li Daoqing 李道清 (active mid-12th c.), 42 columns in standard script missing the beginning part, dated 1157 (spurious?); 1 seal:

廟食我境享祀傳之於千古
神威久著於萬年
德蹟彌高
神功廣大已義保土安民禦災捍患保產
催生救遐扶邇乃衆信之倚仗實一境之
福神民心感萬仞之
恩聖德無一毫之報知皎有自報答無
由眾秉一誠卒斂淨賄玆逢
中元令節仗慿化士李道清代香遠叩
福地龍虎山
正一萬法宗壇
嗣漢五十代天師張真人府下代神拜受
玉清三洞含真體道昇仙經籙
上清三洞金真玉光護神經籙
太清三洞通真合道保神經籙各一部歸
案繳奏
天廷頒
恩請命榮
旌神軄就行奏受
上帝欽賜旌禩寳敕一道付神子案
崇祀永佑吉兆所冀
神功赫奕
聖德昭彰上鎮
皇圖鞏固下資民物豐隆
境土清平鄉團寧謐
投丐保擢事
壇司得此除已具申
師督乞與敷奏
天闕真司移文
三界仰祈保奏之功敢負
含洪之聼所有
雲篆王符依儀頒下
大宋紹興二十七年歲次丁丑九月

右奉
敕命奏陞
三天金闕雷部尚書保安顯應霊濟真人
提擧十二城隍事為軄撥差
嶽府溫呂鐡劉随
敕駐劄共贊
玄功茂膺
正化者
右敕付保安神李忠准此 [印]:賜張囗都囗囗

2. Zhu Zhongsu 朱中梀 (active mid-17th c.), 25 columns in standard script, dated 1641; 2 seals:


侯生為正氣歿;為明神澤,在生靈已懋著。夫先烈功存社稷,宜不昧其前庥。昔裂土以分茅,爵居五等之列,爰降封而錫,謚“祀享”。一方之榮屬,玆下民有慶。竊翼神,其用康。惟是中團徼靈僉喜戎有良翰,爰展護土之烈。凡兩暘寥燠,莫不假旋斡,以代天工式弘庇民之猷即鼠豕螟蝗抑且秉烈炎而殄民瘼疾瘥虔禱沉疴積痼忽甦旱潦誠求好日甘霖捷應群黎遍而待命百鶴藉以永寧繄惟皇宋酬庸加顯靈孚澤之歸迨今玄壇降籙侈顯應靈濟之符神之靈威烜赫不其有光于玆土也哉。抑傳曰聰明正直神其以之於戲神受職于天臣受職于君其理一尓天福善禍滛神以天之心為心者也。神以天之心為心,故其靈響若是而鄊邦禮之,士民肅之,若是主宰百里血食萬年,葢有不可得而既者矣。荷神貺者,固將何好哉。從民遷坐,降福降祥,斯則以天之心為心者也。擊鼓歌豳,不愆不忒,斯則以神之心為心者也。多士其圖之,尚克毖厥終以無殄禋祀。
里人士故有繪
賢候受籙,圖卷以志盛美,小子不敏于里中辱有葭莩之好者,因得拜
矦遺像。欽
侯顯德。慨邊幅之弗廣,而蠹蝕之將及也。乃購工拓,而新之漫為述紀,用彰不朽云。
龍飛崇禎十有四年嵗在辛巳孟秋月吉旦,石城宗藩後學朱中梀熏沐頓首題識並書。 [印]:朱中梀、斯飛氏
銀軸銀竿計重捌錢

3. Unidentified artist (active mid-17th c.), 7 columns in standard script, dated 1641; 1 seal:

奉神脩醮囗籙會首弟子壇主魏良棟、魏清時、熊應擧、袁應禹、袁顯禮、蕭紹華、袁煥斌、袁顯信、黃一正、萬邦迎、熊愛豹、鄢都。案東袁煥文、并鄉團眾信人等特發誠心。于龍飛崇禎辛巳年菊秋月廿一日,起科至廿四日住散脩崇旌。
神閱
敕福國裕民週天大醮一中祈保鄉團眾信福有所歸謹意。 [印]:翔青

4. Colophon kept in a separate envelope:

Cover: Unidentified artist, 2 columns in standard script, undated:

宋紹興廿七年銘
神仙圖卷

Unidentified artist, 49 columns in standard script on 9 pages, in Japanese, undated:

宋紹興廿七年銘神仙圖卷に就て
往時より支那の人心を支配する宗教に儒教、佛教、道教の三教あり倂して楊子江一帶は道教の力尤も大なり。斯の有名なる学者李盛鐸氏の如きは最も道教を信ずるの士なり。此卷原?江西龍虎上の道士?代代襲守世る處の什物なりしも去年同地方に於ける共產黨乱を避けるため北平に攜帶したるものにして道教上稀觀の珍秘寶什なり。道教開山即ち漢の張道陵(初代)より此卷の銘記せる宋紹興年は算するに丁度其五十代に當り其後良く八百年後の今日に至るもかく保存され居たるは一に斯教の修道滅せさるに所以せり。李忠は当時江西の大功德人にして其地方人より当時の龍虎山道主に懇願して道教の理想たる十二城隍の職に提擧されたる人はらん卷尾に補添せる明代崇禎云云下に列記せる人名即ち魏、態、袁等は其当時より同地方に於ける極めて著名ホる家柄たるは史上明かなる處にして現今の熊式輝の如きは其名家の後裔なり。
道教。老子の虛無自然說に神仙家の說と俗間信仰を加味し、佛教の組織を模して出來た支那の一大宗教で後漢の張道陵を開祖とす。主眼を福、祿、壽の現世的幸福に置き。元始天尊をその最高神とし老子はその權化で太上老君と云ふ。老子の思想は神秘深遠で容易に了解しがたいがその中に長生不死の意味に類するそのがある(我國でも神仙修行の思想はこの系統を引いて為る)漢末から六朝にかけてこの四百年閒は支那史上最も波瀾に富み人心胸胸一日も寧(やす)きを得ホい時代であったから道教が流行した。魏、晉、六朝を通じて佛教がしきりと支那の思想界に流行したので道教徒は屢屢これと論辨しその影響にとって佛教に擬した幾多の經典をつくり、これを天啓と称しまた佛教の儀式を模して、天地山川星辰嶽讀を祀るいろくの儀式をつくった。道教を一つの國名的宗教とし帝王の力を借りて國家に公認させたのは寇謙之の力である。寇謙之は北魏の宰相崔浩を說きこの力で世祖を動した。即ち帝都平陽に天師道場を築き世祖親ら太斗真君と称して佛教を排斥し、唐宋二朝も歷代道教を信ずるやうになった。現在道教の本山は南支に江西の龍虎山かあり。又北平には白雲觀がある。太上老君の像は山西省龍山石窟にある。
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