Album of Daoist Paintings

Daoist Paintings by Zhang Lu

Artist Zhang Lu was an independent professional painter whose brushwork was astonishingly free and spontaneous.

This album by Zhang Lu is included in the exhibition Ming Masterpieces from the Shanhai Museum, on view at LACMA through June 2, 2013. The album depicts a range of Daoist subjects, including two landscapes with moon and sun (representing the cosmic forces of yin and yang, whose mutual interaction causes the qi–energy to flow in regular and predictable patterns). Other subjects include revered figures of Daism, such as the gods of Good Fortune and Longevity; numerous Daoist practitioners, including the Eight Immortals; the Four Sages of Mount Shang; and the Five Elders symbolizing the Five Elements.

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Images: Zhang Lu (ca. 1464–1538), Album of Daoist Paintings, China, Ming dynasty, early 16th century, Album; ink and light colors on gold-flecked paper, Shanghai Museum.