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Female Immortals

14th century
Artist/maker unknown, Chinese Attributed to Sun Jue (Chinese)
Three female immortals wear cloaks and skirts made of grasses and leaves. Their hairy bodies identify them as the Feathered Women (mao nü) of Daoist lore, who live deep in the mountains searching for herbs. Here they show each other what they have gathered. The figure at the far left holds a lingzhi fungus (thought to bestow longevity if ingested) and a basket of plants is draped over her arm. The focus of the painting is on a large health-benefiting ginseng root displayed in the hand of the central immortal. Other herbs depicted include leaves of banana and palm tree carried in the baskets on the women’s backs. The representation of Feathered Women exhibiting precious medicinal items functions as a special talisman, protecting the owner from illness....

Object Details

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