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Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup

Yokoyama Kazan (Japanese, 1784-1837)


酒八仙図

In a poem, the Tang dynasty poet Dù Fǔ immortalized eight prodigious drinkers of his time. Since only six are depicted here, this might be one of a pair of paintings. Dù Fǔ said Hè Zhīzhāng, seen riding his horse, swayed as if on a boat, and he would continue sleeping even if he fell into a well. Prince Jing, bottom right, salivated over a cartload of malt for making alcohol, even after finishing three large pots of wine. The drunkenness of these men symbolizes their repudiation of officialdom, with all of its political intrigues.

Wine was important to the development of Chinese poetry, both as a theme and also as a facilitator of self expression.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Shula; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1980.

Object Information

artist
Yokoyama Kazan (Japanese, 1784-1837)
period
Edo
creation date
1784-1837
materials
ink and color on silk
dimensions
43 1/2 x 19 1/4 in. (image)
mark descriptions
Signed: Kazan
Seal: horizontally split ovoid relief with upper Ka and lower zan (san)
accession number
80.172
credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Shula
copyright
Public Domain
collection
Asian Art
colors