Eight Immortals

Since the Song dynasty (960-1279), the Baxian, or “Eight Immortals” have been a frequent subject of Daoist-inspired legend and artwork. They may be depicted separately, or as a group. The eight include: Zhongli Quan, depicted as a fat man with a bare belly holding a fan with which he can revive the dead; Zhang Guo Lao, a recluse who had numerous powers, such as rendering himself invisible; Lü Dongbin, who traveled the world for several centuries, using his sword to slay dragons and other demons; Cao Guojiu, the patron saint of actors; Li Tieguai, represented as a beggar with an iron staff; Han Xiang Zi, who can make flowers blossom instantaneously; Lan Caihe, the patron saint of florists, as is evident by the flower-basket she carries; and He Xiangu, who became immortal after eating a supernatural peach.