- Museum number
Painting, hanging scroll. Laozi on water buffalo, holding scroll in right hand. Ink and colour on silk. Signed and sealed.
- Production date
Height: 43.80 centimetres
Width: 33.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan Vol 3
Igarashi Shunmei (1700-81) was a mid-Edo-period painter working in the Chinese tradition. Lao-zi, one of the greatest philosophers of ancient China, has long been a favorite theme of oriental painting. Especially popular is the scene, shown here, in which lie is depicted riding on a blue ox, about to pass through the official barrier on his way out of the country to take his teachings into Central Asia. Lao-zi is said to have remained in the womb for eighty-one years and to have been born with white hair; the "Lao" of his name means "aged," and his childhood given name is said to have been 'Er', meaning ear, on account of his extraordinarily large ears. Both these features are duly recorded in this work. The scroll that he holds in his right hand is presumably a copy of his own teachings.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The collection of Japanese and Chinese paintings belonging to Arthur Morrison was purchased by Sir William Gwynne-Evans, who presented it to the British Museum in 1913.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.718 (Japanese Painting Number)