Pillow with Confucian Scholar, Buddhist Monk, and Daoist Priest
Artist/maker unknown, Chinese
This remarkable design is unique among known examples of Cizhou pillows. Even before the tenth century, the great belief systems of Chinese civilization, Confusianism, Buddhism, and Daoism— represented here by these figures playing Chinese chess—were viewed as mutually complementary and inextricably linked to the same goal. The so-called Three Teachings was a popular theme in tenth- to thirteenth-century paintings.