Jade Mountain Illustrating the Gathering of Poets at the Lan T'ing Pavilion
This mountain, apparently the largest piece of historic carved jade outside of China, was commissioned in 1784 by the Ch'ien-lung emperor (1736-95) whose own poem appears carved on the backside. The front displays a longer verse, the Lan T'ing Su ("Prelude to the Orchid Pavilion"), a famous poem composed in 353 by Wang Hsi-chi, perhaps the greatest calligrapher of the Far East. The occasion for the poem is illustrated by this jade carving, a literary gathering of poets and scholars organized by Wang at Lan-t'ing, the Orchid Pavilion. Several literati can be seen writing, drinking wine, and collating texts near the Orchid Pavilion at the foot of Mt. Hui-chi.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts