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Brushpot Depicting a Daoist Paradise

A work made of jade.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of jade.


Qing dynasty (1644–1911), reign of Qianlong (1736–1795)



About this artwork

Crafted out of nephrite, also known as “spinach” jade, this opulent vessel was designed to hold brushes for painting and calligraphy. Adorning the exterior surface is a continuous scene depicting figures and architecture within a mountainous, tree-laden landscape, evoking the ethereal realm of the immortals. Despite nephrite’s reputation for its remarkable density and hardness, the meticulously carved panorama encircling the vessel transforms the exterior into a vibrant, three-dimensional painting.

The top of this brush holder is inscribed with a poem by Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736-1795). In the poem, the emperor refers to the vessel’s material, craftsmanship, and iconography, drawing connections to its ability to embody the spirit of the immortals.


On View, Gallery 134


Arts of Asia


Brushpot Depicting a Daoist Paradise


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.





17.8 × 16.5 cm (7 × 6 1/2 in.); Diam.: 16.6 cm (6 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Grace Brown Palmer

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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