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Ref No: DC0187

‘The Drunken Poet’ Chinese Ivory Carving

This ivory carving of ‘The Drunken Poet’ is most likely a depiction of Li Bai (701-762 AD), also referred to as Li Bo. Li Bai, was a renowned poet in China during the Tang Dynasty, often referred to as the ‘Golden Age of Chinese Poetry’.

As well as being considered one of the greatest artists of his day; a genius and romantic figure, he was also known for being drunk for days on end as was tradition among other Chinese, classical poets of the time. Much of his work is autobiographical and many of his poems feature his affinity for rice wine; one piece aptly titled ‘Waking from Drunkenness on a Spring Day’. Although, Li Bai and his contemporaries found inspiration in excess drinking, they were not considered drunkeds but genius eccentrics.

This particular piece is an artist’s interpretation of a drunk Li Bai as he is often portrayed, using his wine skin as a pillow as he reclines in a mid-day slump, pondering his current verse.

Though this piece has been crafted in the style of the Ming Dynasty, we believe it to be 19th Century ivory that has been tea stained to give the appearance of age.

Period: 19th Century
Style: Ming Dynasty
Origin: China
Dimensions: L 36cm, D 8cm, H 10cm
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