Great King of Water, Grass and Horses

Accession Number

Great King of Water, Grass and Horses


Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
20th century

Medium & Support
woodblock print on paper

18 5/8 in x 14 15/16 in (47.3 cm x 38 cm);19 9/16 in x 15 13/16 in (49.7 cm x 40.2 cm);18 5/8 in x 14 15/16 in (47.3 cm x 38 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Willard A. and Marybelle B. Hanna

Subject matter
The center figure is known as Sanyan Lingguang (Luminous Official Three Eyes; "sanyan" means three-eyed). He has multiple identities, and is also known as the Jade Emperor. He is one of the deity marshals of Daoism, one of the Four Great Marshals. He is known as Numinous Official Marshal Ma on the on the Daoist side and Huaguang Bodhisattva on the Buddhist side. There are many different folktale stories of him since he plays more than one role in his own story. The men surrounding him are most likely his servants, and the scene in the foreground show people tending horses since "Ma" means horse. 

Physical Description
This print shows a center figure with three eyes and a red face. He is wearing a crown and sitting with a sword in hand. Four figures surround him, two on each side. They are dressed in robes and a headdress, each holding a different object such as a knife, staff, and plate. The foreground shows a smaller scene of farmers feeding horses.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
color print

Collection Area

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eyes (motifs)
gods (dieties)
grass (plant material)
jade (rock)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted