Nine Elders of Mount Xiang


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 222

The animated figures in this wooded mountain scene, carved on a stone boulder, represent the celebrated gathering of Bai Juyi, a renowned poet of the Tang dynasty (618–907), and his friends on the Hill of Fragrance (Xiangshan) in the eastern capital city Luoyang. Freed from their official duties, the nine retirees enjoyed nature, poetry, and other scholarly activities—a dream lifestyle for the learned elite class.

Nine Elders of Mount Xiang, Soapstone, China

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