Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Scene from White Snake

  • Description

    The story of White Snake originated in the 13th century, and through oral storytelling developed into different versions. A heavenly snake-turned-beauty marries Xu Xian, who saved her in his previous life. A knowing monk persuades Xu to give the beauty drugged wine that will reveal her identity, and she is depicted in this painting having just drunk it. The widely known version in the Qing opera has a happy ending in which the White Snake’s son passes his civil service exam and saves her from the monk’s quelling. The opera is often played on the fifth day of the fifth month when realgar wine is used to drive away poisonous creatures such as snakes.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaChinaJiangsu province Nanjing (place of creation)
    Gao Made (1919 - 2007) (artist)
    Material and technique
    ink and colour on paper
    frame 61 x 66 x 2.5 cm (height x width x depth)
    painting 33 x 42 cm (height x width)
    Material index
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    No. of items
    Credit line
    Presented in honour of the forthcoming 70th birthdays of Jose Mauricio and Angelita Trinidad Reyes, 1995.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 24 September-1 December 1996, Modern Chinese Paintings: The Reyes Collection in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Vainker, Shelagh (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1996), no. 23 on p. 29, illus. p. 29 fig. 23

Past Exhibition

see (1)


    • currently in research collection

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