Vase in Meiping Shape with Daoist Immortal Zhongli Quan

Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Date: second half of the 15th century

Culture: China

Medium: Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware)

Dimensions: H. 13 5/8 in. (34.6 cm); Diam. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm); Diam. of rim: 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm); Diam. of base: 5 in. (12.7 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2010

Accession Number: 2010.312


Identified by the leaf held in one hand and the gourd suspended from his belt, Zhongli Quan is revered in the religious tradition of Daoism. Thought to have lived sometime between the second century BC. and the second century AD., he is one of a group of eight quasi-historical figures that became prominent in Daoist traditions beginning in the twelfth century, and were later often depicted in the visual arts.