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The Ordination of Empress Zhang

Court Painter(s), Chinese, (active 1488–1505)

Creation date: 1493
Creation place: China

Other Information

Type: Handscroll
Medium and Support: Ink, color and gold on paper, handscroll
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Jeffers
Accession Number: 1961.94
Dimensions: 21 1/2 in. x 1080 in. (54.61 cm x 2743.2 cm)

Provenance

Mr. and Mrs. John Jeffers, La Jolla, California ( - December 14, 1961)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 14, 1961 - )

Label Copy

Asia Crossroads installation
October 2003
This handscroll certifies the ordination of the empress Zhang as a priestess in the hierarchy of religious Taoism, a rank emblematic of both political and religious status.
The event is witnessed by a array of fifty-two gods and immortals, each named in small gold calligraphy, making the scroll a kind of “who’s who” of Taoism. In the section of the ninety shown here, several kinds of guardian figures are shown together with Celestial masters and gods. The guardians of the four directions, identifiable by their tiger mounts and banners representing the four directions—blue for the east, red for the south, green for the west, and black for the north—are dressed in robes over armor. They are imaged as mighty warriors (compare their attire to the less supercharged generals that follow them) with scarves that bristle excitedly around them.
Last Updated: 2/7/2018

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Taoism and the Arts of China Los Angelese County Museum of Art , 11/4/2000 - 5/13/2001

Art of East Asia San Diego Museum of Art , 2/3/2013 - 8/1/2013

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Teisuke Toda and Hiromitsu Ogawa. Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Paintings: Second Series University of Tokyo Press. Tokyo, Japan, 1998
Page Number: I-240 - I-241, Figure Number: A49-022

C. Alexander Simpkins and Annellen M. Simpkins. Principles of Meditation: Eastern Wisdom for the Western Mind Charles T. Tuttle Co., Inc.. Boston, Massachusetts, 1996
Page Number: 32

C. Alexander Simpkins and Annellen M. Simpkins. Meditatie: Een Inleiding in Ontspanning Vitgeverij BZZTÔH 's-Gravenhage. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1996
Page Number: opposite 64

Ms. Yu Sung. Selections from the Chinese Collection San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1999
Page Number: jacket, Figure Number: jacket (detail)

Ms. Yu Sung. Selections from the Chinese Collection San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1999
Page Number: 136-137, 138-139, Figure Number: 136 (detail), 138-139

C. Alexander Simpkins and Annellen M. Simpkins. Simple Taoism: Tuttle Publishing. Boston, Massachusetts, 1999
Page Number: 38, 175, Figure Number: 38 (detail)

Stephen Little. Taoism and the Arts of China The Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois, 2000
Page Number: 20, 28

Stephen Little. Taoism and the Arts of China The Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois, 2000
Page Number: 208, 209-212, 213, Figure Number: 57

C. Alexander Simpkins and Annellen M. Simpkins. Basisgids taoïsme: Bosch & Keuning. Baarn, The Netherlands, 2000
Page Number: 48, Figure Number: 48 (detail)

C. Alexander Simpkins and Annellen M. Simpkins. El Tao Simple: El Camino del Equilibrio y la Plenitud Océano Grupo Editorial, S.A.. Milano, Italia, 2000
Page Number: 53, Figure Number: 53 (detail)

Livia Kohn. Daoism and Chinese Culture Three Pines Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2001
Page Number: cover, iii, Figure Number: cover (detail)

Teisuke Toda and Hiromitsu Ogawa. Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Paintings: Second Series University of Tokyo Press. Tokyo, Japan, 2001
Page Number: 308, no. A49-022

Shawn Eichman. Orientations Orientations Magazine Ltd.. Hong Kong, December 2000
Page Number: 42, 43, Figure Number: 10 (detail)

Dr. Caron Smith. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 44-45, Figure Number: 44-45

Mr. James E. Miller, ed. Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies ABC-CLIO, Inc.. Santa Barbara, California, 2006
Page Number: 227, 229, Figure Number: 227 (detail)

Yu-Ping, Luk. The Empress and the Heavenly Masters The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong, 2015
Figure Number: 1.1; 1.4;2.1;3.1;4.1-4.17; 5.1-5.3; 5.5-5.10; 5.12-5.15;5.17-19; 5.24; 6.1-3

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