Guo Ziyi greeting the Goddess of Seventh Night

Maker(s)
Artist: Formerly attributed to Li Gonglin (傳)李公麟 (ca. 1049-1106)
Historical period(s)
Ming or Qing dynasty, 17th-19th century
Medium
Ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (image): 24.9 x 28.9 cm (9 13/16 x 11 3/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1911.160j
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Type

Album leaf

Keywords
chariot, China, man, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), Seventh Night, woman
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Guo Ziyi (697–July 9, 781) was an important general during the Tang dynasty, serving under three emperors.


The Herd Boy and Weaving Maid were husband and wife star deities. They were so in love that they neglected their heavenly responsibilities and were exiled to opposite sides of the Milky Way. They were only allowed to meet one night a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, which became a festival known as Seventh Night (a Chinese Valentine’s Day of sorts).


One Seventh Night when Guo Ziyi was guarding the western frontier, he saw a heavenly maiden in a chariot crossing the sky and, recognizing her as the Weaving Maid, he prayed to her for prosperity and long life. Touched by his sincerity, the Weaving Maid granted his wish and he enjoyed a long and successful career, and was later deified as the God of Wealth.


All three figures are part of Chinese mythology and as such are often associated with popular Daoism.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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