The figure on this silk tapestry panel is Dongfang Shuo who symbolizes wisdom and longevity. As a historical person, Dongfang (154–93 B.C.) was famed for his immense erudition and humorous speeches. In later legend, as seen here, he steals the magical peaches from the orchard of the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu) and becomes a famous immortal. The layout and powerful outlines, also present in sixteenth-century painting, help date this tapestry. Found on both sides of the panel, the red seals state that it had once been stored in the imperial study of the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736–95), one of the greatest art collectors in Chinese history.
Ellis G. Seymour , New York (until 1926; donated to MMA)
New York. China House Gallery. "Kesi and Silk Tapestry," March 24, 1971–May 27, 1971.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Silk Tapestry (Kesi)," March 17, 2004–July 4, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Textiles," 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art," February 27, 2010–November 28, 2010.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painting with Thread: Chinese Tapestry and Embroidery, 12th–19th Century," October 25, 2014–August 9, 2015.