On View In:
Gallery 201
Artist:   Wang Shouqi  
Title:   Fan Painting of a Taoist Magician  
Date:   c. 1650  
Medium:   Ink and colors on paper  
Dimensions:   8 1/4 x 18 3/8 in. (20.96 x 46.67 cm) (fan)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton  
Location:   Gallery 201  

Wang Shonqi was a poet, calligrapher, seal carver and painter from a family of high officials. He earned his juren degree in 1630 and published his first collection of poems three years later. An extreme Ming loyalist whose life was changed forever by the Manchu overthrow in 1644, Wan became a monk and retired from active life in 1646. Living quietly in Anhui province, he was forced to sell paintings and calligraphy for a living. Wan's figural paintings are relatively scarce.

In this work, a Daoist magician stands on a bluff by a pond with a small boy at his side. The bamboo stick he throws into the air is being transformed into a dragon. This illustrates a story from Daoist lore about Fei Changfang, a minor official of the Han Dynasty, who studies the secrets of immortality with a Daoist master. The master gave Fei a stick of bamboo one day and told him to ride it. When Fei mounted the staff, he found he could travel great distances in an instant. When he tossed the stick over a pond, it turned into a blue dragon.

Name:   Shouqi, Wang  
Nationality:   Chinese  
Life Dates:   1603 - 1652  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Signature; Seals artist's signature in ink at ULC, signed [Wan Shou-ch'i] artist's seal at ULC: [Shou-wan]  
Classification:   Paintings  
Physical Description:   old Toaist magician stands on a bluff by a pond, a small boy at his side, bamboo stick he throws into the air is transforming into a dragon; matted  
Creation Place:   Asia, China, , ,  
Accession #:   96.30.3  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts