Mirror with Images of Daoist Deities

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.

Date:

Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220), 2nd/3rd century A.D.

Artist:

China
probably from Zhejiang province

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.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 133

Title

Mirror with Images of Daoist Deities

Origin

China

Date

100 AD–299 AD

Medium

Bronze

Dimensions

Diam: 20.6 × diam. 0.6 cm (8 1/8 × 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1929.644

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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