Dongfang Shuo stealing peaches of longevity
- Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
- H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); W. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Bequest of Edmund C. Converse, 1921
- Accession Number:
Dongfang Shuo was an official at the court of Han Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 B.C.) known for his quick wit and humorous quips. He has become a legendary figure in Chinese art: one finds his image in ceramics, hardstone carvings, lacquer, painting, and textiles. Here, he is depicted as a long-bearded old man running away from the garden of the Queen Mother of the West, a Chinese goddess. He carries on his shoulders the peaches he has stolen, which are said to have the magic power to extend life.