The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup

c. 1600
Ink, pigment on gold, pair of six-fold screens
Screens and Scrolls
Overall: 65 3/4 x 133 x 3/4 in. (1 m 67.01 cm x 3 m 37.82 cm x 1.91 cm) Depth (folded): 13 in. (33.02 cm)
Arts of Asia
Not On View
Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art

General Description

These screens depicting The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup take their theme from a classical poem by the Chinese Tang poet Tu Fu (712-70 A.D.). Since the poem is one of the great pieces of Chinese literature, the subject was popular in the painting of both China and Japan. The screens show figures drinking, dancing, and cavorting in a landscape setting. Because the composition, especially the manner of painting costumes and foliage, is free of formulaic devices, it is difficult to attribute these screens to a particular school of painting. However, the work seems to be based directly on a Chinese model.

Adapted from

Label text, 2015.

Related Multimedia

Collections smARTphone video; Bromberg, Anne R. discusses The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup (DMA Collection, 1989.78.A-B.McD), Momoyama period, Japan
Learn about the poem “Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup."
Learn about the Momoyama period in Japan.
Collections smartphone audio about the poem upon witch this screen is based. Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup, 1989.78.a-b.McD (DMA Collection)
Collections smartphone audio for Emma-O, 2008.25.a-h; Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup, 1989.78.a-b.McD (DMA Collection)

Fun Facts

A poem by Tu Fu:

"Already mid-spring on the riverside,

Sunrise opens beneath blossoms again.

Hoping to see the bird, I look up. And

Turning away, I one there.

I read, skipping over hard parts easily,

Pour wine from full jars...The old

Sage on O-mei is a new friend. He knows

It is here, in idleness, I become real."

-Tu Fu, from "Two Impromptus," c. A.D. 760-765, in The Selected Poems of Tu Fu, p. 62