by Yan Hui
Two hanging scrolls, color on silk
Proportions: 161.3 x 79.7 cm (each)
Yuan Dynasty (14th Century)
Important Cultural Property
(Chion-ji Temple, Kyoto)
Two wizards, Liu Haichen, also known as the "Wizard of Toad," and Li Tieguai sit on rocks as if talking to one another. Li Tieguai blows his soul off of his body as his iron cane leans against his chest. As his soul leaves, his body begins to change color and turn rigid. Liu Hai-chan sits holding a peach, a symbol of and longevity and eternal youth. A big white toad sits on his shoulder.
The artist Yan Hui (Qui Yue) of Luling (present day Jian in Jianxi) was active during the late thirteenth century as a painter of Taoist and Buddhist figures. These scrolls exhibit a new modeled style, different from the realistic expression of the Song Dynasty. The deformed facial expressions and the bold drape of the robes help emphasize the grotesqueness of the subject matter.