Anonymous: Emperor Guan (1700)

(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)


Staying in China, this painting shows the famous general Guan Yu (?-A.D. 220). He served under the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty and played an important part in the  civil war  at the end of the Han dynasty. Guan Yu was later deified for his loyalty and righteousness and elevated to the rank of emperor (di) during the Ming Dynasty. On this painting Guan Yu descents from the heavens with two attendants. The golden text in the upper right corner identifies him as "Overseer of the Gate, Sage-Emperor Lord Guan." According to the text in the loer right corner, this painting was commissioned by the imperial prince Zhuang (probably Manchu prince Boggodo, 1650–1723). The painting forms a part of a set which was used in a Buddhist salvation ritual. Painting from around 1700.

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