Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Xi Wangmu 西王母 by 狩野常信

唐美人図(Xi Wangmu 西王母)
 Itabashi Art Museum
狩野常信 KANO Tsunenobu (Japanese, 1636-1713)

Xi Wangmu in Chinese mythology, literally "Queen Mother of the
West," is the ruler of the western paradise and goddess of immortality. She is charged with overseeing the wall of heaven. Originally, from the earliest known depictions of her in the "Guideways of Mountains and Seas" during the Zhou Dynasty, she was a ferocious goddess with the teeth of a tiger, who sent plagues down upon the world.

After she was adopted into the Taoist pantheon, she was transformed into a benign deity. In popular Chinese mythology, Xi Wangmu lived in a palace made entirely of jade, so she has often been considered the patron deity of jade carvers. She also possesses a peach tree which, every 3,000 years, produces a peach that grants immortality.

Her role with respect to immortality and everlasting happiness
probably arose from her origin as the goddess of fertility.  

                               From Wikipedia

長山孔寅 西王母図
尾形光琳 西王母図
長澤蘆雪 西王母図
妖姫 西王母図&羽衣
西王母図 (江阿弥/奥文鳴/月僊/荻生天泉/狩野雪/作者不詳)


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