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Between and Mortarboard


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Rubbing of Journey of the Soul to the Paradise of the Queen Mother of the West (2000/2.1) - Front

Accession Number
2008/1.154.1

Title
Rubbing of Journey of the Soul to the Paradise of the Queen Mother of the West (2000/2.1) - Front

Artist(s)
Bo Yang

Object Creation Date
2008

Medium & Support
ink on paper

Dimensions
37 7/8 in. x 39 13/16 in. ( 96.2 cm x 101.1 cm )

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Katherine Tuck Enrichment Fund

Subject matter
Rubbing of a carved limestone slab that was originally part of a memorial hall or tomb. It portrays the vertical ascent of the soul of the deceased from earth toward the “Happy Homeland” or heavenly abode of the Queen Mother of the West.
On the lower register of the carving, the soul of the tomb occupant rides in a chariot procession. The fish-inhabited waters indicate his earthly surroundings. In the central three registers the family and friends of the deceased are shown carrying out the proper funerary rites that will insure the success of his journey. The Queen Mother herself, shown as a winged creature with a human face, dominates the top row. She is flanked by two writhing dragons and other heavenly immortals, including two rabbits, who reside on the moon and are shown pounding rice cakes, and an auspicious nine-tailed fox, associated with the sun.
The Queen Mother of the West was the subject of a very popular cult during the Eastern Han Dynasty, when concerns about immortality reached a new and feverish pitch.

Physical Description
Rubbing of limestone slab carved bas-relief with six registers. The lower register depicts a chariot procession above fish-inhabited waters. The central three registers depict figures carrying out funerary rites. The top register shows a winged creature with a human face flanked by two writhing dragons and other animals, including two rabbits and a nine-tailed fox.

Primary Object Classification
Rubbing

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
chariots (ancient vehicles)
dragons
fish (animals)
moons
murals (any medium)
rabbits
rubbings (visual works)
water (inorganic material)

& Author Notes

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