Daoist Deity, probably Heavenly Marshal Zhao (Zhao Gong Ming)

Artist: Qiao Bin (Chinese, active 1481–1507)

Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Date: dated 1482

Culture: China

Medium: Glazed stoneware

Dimensions: H. 23 3/4 in. (60.3 cm); W. 15 in. (38.1 cm); D. 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Bequest of Harrison Cady, 1970

Accession Number: 1971.163


This figure of a Daoist deity is embellished with low-fired lead glazes in yellow, green, black, and white that are typical for Ming-dynasty (1368–1644) Daoist and Buddhist ceramic sculptures. The figure probably represents the Heavenly Marshal Zhao (Zhao Gong Ming), a popular local god of wealth who was absorbed into the Daoist pantheon. An inscription on the back that dates the piece to 1482 states that the commissioner Li Daoming, Daoist devotee of the Quanzhen sect, ordered a set of "Guan and Zhao" figures, which suggests that this sculpture was one of a pair.