The Lady with the Snake Body: ‘Empress’ Chi Hui’s Story in Vernacular Literature and Ten king’s Scrolls.

Abstract : The story of Liang Wu di’s wife empress Xi/Chi Hui changed into a snake has very early been linked to the ritual of salvation of suffering souls called Shuilu zhai. This talk, using both late imperial vernacular narratives, ritual plays of Southern China and liturgical paintings of the same time and area explains why this story has become such an important pictorial element of the paintings of the Ten Kings of Hell used by fashi masters of southwestern China during rituals for the salute of suffering souls. It is a part of a project about narrative components in ritual paintings and sculpture of premodern China.
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Contributor : Vincent Durand-Dastès <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:12:06 PM
Last modification on : Monday, October 21, 2019 - 12:33:53 PM

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Vincent Durand-Dastès. The Lady with the Snake Body: ‘Empress’ Chi Hui’s Story in Vernacular Literature and Ten king’s Scrolls. . La traversée des landes des trépassés : récits, rituels, images / Journeys across the realm of the Dead : Narratives, rituals and images, Paris, INALCO, 19-20 may 2016, May 2016, Paris, France. ⟨halshs-01544661⟩

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