A large Chinese famille rose dish with Dongfang Shuo. Yongzheng

The center painted in vibrant rose enamels with a figure of the smiling bearded sage, Dongfang Shuo, holding a large peach in outstretched hands with his able youthful assistant right behind with a basket of blossoms slung over a hoe on his shoulder, all set on a fenced garden terrace with rockwork to one side issuing a peach spray with fruit and blossoms that hang above the figures, the shaped border with shaped cartouches of alternate flowers and ribboned objects on a ground of dot-circlets and lotus blossoms.

Period :
Yongzheng (1723-1735), ca. 1735
10,82 in. (27,5 cm)
Reference :

Related works

For a pair of smaller dishes, see Cohen & Cohen, Think Pink!, 2017, p. 46, no. 34.


The scène depicts Dongfang Shuo stealing peaches of longevity.Dongfang Shuo was an official at the court of Han Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 B.C.) known for his quick wit and humorous quips. He has become a legendary figure in Chinese art: one finds his image in ceramics, hardstone carvings, lacquer, painting, and textiles. Here, he is depicted as a long-bearded old man running away from the garden of the Queen Mother of the West, a Chinese goddess. He carries on his shoulders the peaches he has stolen, which are said to have the magic power to extend life.

Photography : Jérémie Beylard / Agence PHAR


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