A Good 19thc Painting Of Li Tieguai

A magnificent 19thc painting, painted with a seated figure of Li Tieguai, his gourd releasing five bats while a young boy jumps for joy.

Li Tieguai was an actual figure from Taoist mythology. Some records say that he was born in the Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1378 C.E.), but popular tradition holds that he was a disciple of the founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu, which would put him in the 500s B.C.E., and make him the most ancient of the Immortals. He is sometimes considered the leader of the Immortals. As he studied with Lao Tzu, his spirit had to ascend into heaven. Li told his apprentice that if his spirit was not back in seven days the apprentice must cremate Li’s body. However, the apprentice had to leave early, so he cremated the body at six and a half days. When Li’s spirit returned, it had to enter the body of a beggar who had died moments before. Lao Tzu appeared, and gave him a gourd that could cure all sickness, but Li’s new body remained maimed despite the gourd, and had to walk with a magical Iron Crutch that would never rust or break. He is the symbol of medicine, and is always shown with his gourd.

The gourd itself is representative of fertility due to its many seeds, while the double-gourd is traditionally associated with Daoism, often depicted as the vessel thought to have held the elixir of life, which belonged to one of the eight immortals, Li Tieguai.

The bats, fu, provide the homophone for fortune. Five bats grouped together create the extremely auspicious and popular motif of the “five good fortunes.” These five good fortunes are: Wealth, Health, Longevity, Love, and Virtue.

福临门 皆春色 三多常 祝吉祥
Fortune and blessings come to home; Spring is all over; Longevity, fortune, off springs are always around; Wish best luck and prosperity.
Bing Wu Year
Roughly written in the 2nd month of autumn (August in Chinese lunar calendar)
Painted by Zheng ?

Age: 19thc

Size: Approx 74 cm X 48 cm

You can buy this from me for only £988 or best offer?