The Immortal Magu with a Deer

Artist: Su Xuejin (1869–1919)

Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911) or Republic period (1911–1949)

Date: late 19th–early 20th century

Culture: China

Medium: Porcelain with clear glaze (Dehua ware, Fujian Province)

Dimensions: H. 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm); W. 5 in. (12.7 cm); D. 4 in. (10.2 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Purchase, Anita M. Linzee Bequest, 1934

Accession Number: 34.13


The supernatural being Magu, holding the magical fungus of longevity in her hand, is attended by a mystical deer that balances a bowl of auspicious fruits and flowers in its antlers. The magical landscape to which these special creatures belong is here reduced to the small platform of geometric rock formations at the base of the figures. Sculptures such as this example were popular birthday gifts among the elite classes.