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Les Messagers divins et leur iconographie - article ; n°1 ; vol.46, pg 96-110

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Arts asiatiques - Année 1991 - Volume 46 - Numéro 1 - Pages 96-110
The Messengers (shizhe) constitute a category of divinities represented in all the liturgical compositions connected with the Fast of Water and Earth (Shuilu zhai). This important syncretic ritual of universal salvation, which developed in China during the Sung period (10th- 13th century), is still practised to-day. On this occasion, large sets of vertical scrolls are hung around the sacred area. These scrolls illustrate an oecumenical pantheon which associates buddhist and taoist divinities, spirits of ancient china, and gods imported from faraway countries. The representations of all strata of human society complete this image of a universe hierarchically structured.
The Divine Messengers, while not constituting a central theme in the iconography of the Shuilu zhai, nevertheless present a particular interest. Dressed as imperial couriers, these young soldiers come and go carrying messages to the numerous administrations of Heaven and Hell. We again find these divinities in the very heart of the ritual activities where paper statues representing the messengers riding horses are loaded with documents and then burnt during the course of the Shuilu zhai. The Divine Messengers play a major role in highlighting the link between liturgical action and iconographie canon. Furthermore, archeology and textual sources testify to the deep roots of the theme of the Divine Messengers in Chinese cultural History.
15 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.

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Publié par
Publié le 01 janvier 1991
Nombre de lectures 21
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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Caroline Gyss-Vermande
Les Messagers divins et leur iconographie In: Arts asiatiques. Tome 46, 1991. pp. 96-110.
Abstract The Messengers (shizhe) constitute a category of divinities represented in all the liturgical compositions connected with the Fast of Water and Earth (Shuilu zhai). This important syncretic ritual of universal salvation, which developed in China during the Sung period (10th- 13th century), is still practised to-day. On this occasion, large sets of vertical scrolls are hung around the sacred area. These scrolls illustrate an oecumenical pantheon which associates buddhist and taoist divinities, spirits of ancient china, and gods imported from faraway countries. The representations of all strata of human society complete this image of a universe hierarchically structured. The Divine Messengers, while not constituting a central theme in the iconography of the Shuilu zhai, nevertheless present a particular interest. Dressed as imperial couriers, these young soldiers come and go carrying messages to the numerous administrations of Heaven and Hell. We again find these divinities in the very heart of the ritual activities where paper statues representing the messengers riding horses are loaded with documents and then burnt during the course of the Shuilu zhai. The Divine Messengers play a major role in highlighting the link between liturgical action and iconographie canon. Furthermore, archeology and textual sources testify to the deep roots of the theme of the Divine Messengers in Chinese cultural History.
Citer ce document / Cite this document : Gyss-Vermande Caroline. Les Messagers divins et leur iconographie. In: Arts asiatiques. Tome 46, 1991. pp. 96-110. doi : 10.3406/arasi.1991.1304 http://www.pers prescript/ _ _ _ _46_1_1304 ee.fr/web/revues/home/ article/arasi 0004-3958 1991 num
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