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Pillow with Confucian Scholar, Buddhist Monk, and Daoist Priest

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese

Made in Xiawu, Henan Province, China, Asia

Dading Period (1161-89)


Stoneware with underglaze slip decoration (Cizhou ware)

3 7/8 × 10 15/16 × 7 11/16 inches (9.8 × 27.8 × 19.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

* Gallery 333, Asian Art, third floor (Rome Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Carroll S. Tyson, 1957

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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.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.