Tapestry with immortal holding a peach, Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Silk tapestry (kesi); Overall 46 x 24 in. (116.8 x 61 cm)
Gift of Ellis G. Seymour, 1926 (26.114.4)
Seen here is a popular representation of Dongfang Suo, who served at the court of the Han-dynasty emperor Wudi (r. 140–87 B.C.). Dongfang Suo plays a key role in the legend illustrated on this panel, in which he steals the peaches of immortality and attains everlasting life. Works of art depicting immortals were particularly appropriate for display at birthday celebrations.
A similar tapestry in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, includes a woven inscription at the top indicating that it reproduces a painting by Shen Zhou (1427–1509).