Embroidered Scroll, 2'-7" high by 13'-8" long; each of the nine figures is approximately 1'-2" high
This brilliant red silk scroll is embroidered with nine colorful figures. The scroll is modern in date and measures 12 feet in length. The central figure is Shouxing, the Chinese god of longevity. He is shown as a venerable white-bearded man with an exceedingly high forehead. He rides a white crane and holds a peach, both symbols of a long life.
On either side of Shouxing are represented the eight Chinese immortals, Ba xian. They are legendary beings in Daoist beliefs, said to have attained immortality through studying nature’s secrets and they are identified with the onset of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).
The eight types represent the spectrum of Chinese society: young and old, rich and poor, civil and military, men and women. They were so popular and legendary that the number eight still signifies happiness and good luck to the Chinese. The most famous legend recounts the immortals' adventures and conquests while exploring the sea to behold its wonders. In order to demonstrate the range of their powers, they floated down to the surface of the sea on lotus leaves for their journeys. The composition on the silk scroll suggests the prominence of the legend. There is a strong imagery of waves at the base of the scroll and the embroidery is shaped in a swirling pattern.
View images and descriptions of each of the nine figures depicted on the scroll:
Unless otherwise specified on this page, this work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.