About this artwork
Mirrors of the Han dynasty were designed to procure blessings of longevity for the living and to guide the soul of the deceased toward immortal bliss. The images cast on the back of this mirror figured prominently in the quest for immortality that pervaded Han China. Two venerated deities that were later incorporated into the Taoist pantheon—the Queen Mother of the West (Xi Wang Mu) and the King Father of the East (Dong Wang Kong)—are seated opposite the central knob. Each is attended by immortals, identified by their whisks. Horse-drawn chariots may be interpreted as vehicles to escort the soul on its journey between this world and the next.
- Mirror with Images of Daoist Deities
- 100 CE–299 CE
- Diam: 20.6 × diam. 0.6 cm (8 1/8 × 1/4 in.)
- Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection