Arts and Culture
The Xuanmen shizi tu (Ten Taoist Masters) scroll was painted by Hua Zuli, and has biographies handwritten by Wu Bing. Is presently in the collection of Shanghai Museum. Former studies generally focus on the fact that this scroll is a copy of the Xuanyuan shizi tu (Portraits of the Ten Masters of the Mysterious Origin) by Zhao Mengfu and use it as evidence to study Zhao Mengfu’s painting. However, this presentation will take Hua Zuli’s scroll as the central object of investigation. I will try to reveal the uniqueness of the scroll by analyzing the eleven figures in the painting and compare them to figures of Laozi in other paintings. Through these works, I will conclude that the meaningful realm of Hu Zuli’s scroll is Laozi spreading the Tao by imparting scriptures, and therefore showing the worship of Laozi. Furthermore, this study also focuses on the contexts of Xuanmen shizi tu and Xuanyuan shizi tu in the Yuan Dynasty especially with regard to its Taoist factors, which are the most important points of reference for interpreting the two paintings.