Chinese pictorial 5x8 Antique 8 gods antique rug, Eight Immortals
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Chinese rugs-making is concentrated mainly in Peking, Shanghai, Tsingtao and Tientsin area. Chinese rugs come from factory like workshops with Senneh knots on strong cotton foundation; Chinese rugs usually have deep woolen pile. Chinese wool is very hard-wearing, therefore suitable for area rugs.
Most Chinese rugs are clipped in low relief. Rugs of this type are made in various colors, blue is the most common but rose, yellow, and beige are also used extensively. Often designs are constructed round a medallion. most Chinese motifs are symbolic rather than decorative. A common motif which comes in form of a medallion or a border component is the Shou character, which symbolizes long life. The Fu character, which is less common, means good luck. Instead of the Fu character, bats are frequently used to symbolize good luck. The following are a few more common Chinese motifs and their meanings although many more exist.
The Eight Immortals
(Chinese: ??; pinyin: Baxian; Wade–Giles: Pa-hsien) are a group of legendary xian ("immortals; transcendents; saints") in Chinese mythology. Each Immortal's power can be transferred to a power tool (??) that can give life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called "Covert Eight Immortals" (??? àn ~). Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang Dynasty or Song Dynasty. They are revered by the Taoists, and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bohai Sea which includes Penglai Mountain-Island.
The Immortals are:
Immortal Woman He (He Xiangu),
Royal Uncle Cao (Cao Guojiu),
Iron-Crutch Li (Tieguai Li),
Lü Dongbin, (leader)
Philosopher Han Xiang (Han Xiang Zi),
Elder Zhang Guo (Zhang Guo Lao), and
Han Zhongli (Zhongli Quan).
For their names in Chinese characters and Wade-Giles, see the individual pages in the list above.
In literature before the 1970s, they were sometimes translated as the Eight Genies. First described in the Yuan Dynasty, they were probably named after the Eight Immortal Scholars of the Han.
The tradition of depicting humans who have become immortals is an ancient practice in Chinese art, and when religious Taoism gained popularity, it quickly picked up this tradition with its own immortals. While cults dedicated to various Taoist immortals date back to the Han dynasty, the popular and well known Eight Immortals first appeared in the Jin dynasty (??). The art of the Jin tombs of the 12th and 13th centuries depict a group of eight Taoist immortals in wall murals and sculptures. They officially became known as the Eight Immortals in the writings and works of art of the Taoist sect known as the Complete Realization (Quanshen). The most famous art depiction of the Eight Immortals from this period is a mural of them in the Eternal Joy Temple (Yongle Gong) at Ruicheng.
The Eight Immortals are considered to be signs of prosperity and longevity, so they are popular themes in ancient art. They were frequent adornments on celadon vases. They were also common in sculptures owned by the nobility. Their most common appearance, however, was in paintings Many silk paintings, wall murals, and wood block prints remain of the eight immortals. They were often depicted either together in one group, or alone to give more homage to that specific immortal.
An interesting feature of early Eight Immortal artwork is that they are often accompanied by jade hand maidens, commonly depicted servants of the higher ranked deities, or other images showing great spiritual power. This shows that early on the Eight Immortals quickly became eminent figures of the Taoist religion, and had great importance We can see this importance is only heightened in the Ming dynasty and Qing dynasties. During these dynasties, the Eight Immortals are very frequently associated with other prominent spiritual deities in artwork. There are numerous paintings with them and the Three Stars (the gods of longevity, emolument, and good fortune) together. Also, other deities of importance, such as the Queen Mother of the West, are commonly seen in the company of the Eight Immortals.
The artwork of the Eight Immortals isn’t limited to paintings or other visual arts. They are quite prominent in written works too. Authors and playwrights wrote numerous stories and plays on the Eight Immortals. One famous story that has been rewritten many times and turned into several plays (the most famous written by Mu Zhiyuan in the Yuan dynasty) is The Yellow-Millet Dream, which is the story of how Lu Dòngbin met Zhongli Quan and began his path to immortality.
The Eight Immortals crossing the sea, from Myths and Legends of China. Clockwise in the boat starting from the stern: He Xiangu, Han Xiang Zi, Lan Caihe, Li Tieguai, Lü Dongbin, Zhongli Quan, Cao Guojiu and outside the boat is Zhang Guo Lao.
The Immortals are the subject of many artistic creations, like paintings and sculptures. Examples of writings about them include:
The Yueyang Mansion («???» yuè yáng lòu) by Ma Zhiyuan (??? ma zhì yuan),
The Bamboo-leaved Boat («???» zhú yè chuán) by Fan Zi'an (??? fàn zi an), and
The Willow in the South of the City («???» chéng nán liu) by Gu Zijing (??? gu zi jìng).
The most significant of the writings is The Eight Immortals Depart and Travel to the East («???????» ba xian chu chù dong yoú jì) by Wu Yuantai (??? wú yuán taì) in Ming Dynasty.
There is another work in Ming, by an anonymous writer, called The Eight Immortals Cross the Sea («????» ba xian guò hai). It is about the Immortals on their way to attend the Conference of the Magical Peach (??? pán taó huì) and encountered an ocean. Instead of going across by their clouds, Lü Dongbin suggested that together, they should use their powers to get across. Stemming from this, the Chinese proverb "The Eight Immortals cross the sea, each reveals its divine power" (????,???? ~, gè xian shén tong) indicates the situation that everybody shows off their powers to achieve a common goal.
|Exact Size||5' X 8'2"|