Based on a famous eighth-century poem by the great Chinese poet To Fu, this pair of screens with scenes of the Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup illustrates a group of distinguished people, all of whom are drinking heavily and carousing. The idea of escaping the chains of convention by living wildly was popular in Japan, where the Taoist tone of this painting would have been admired in a country that valued a personal, intuitive form of religious expression. The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup, Japan, Momoyama period, c. 1600; Pair of six-fold screens, ink and pigment on gold


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