Bamboo carvings in the form of Guandi are very rare. Guandi is based on a historical character, popularised by the 14th century classical novel, Sanguo Zhiyan Yi, 'The Romance of the Three Kingdoms'. He is reputed to be the military hero, Guanyu, of the Three Kingdoms period who died in battle with his adopted son, Guanping, and his trusted general Zhoucang. The figure of Guandi, himself underwent much transformation in Chinese history from military hero to become deified as a God of War. The cult of Guandi was actively supported by the Ming Court and his images can be found in Court paintings, for example, the large hanging scroll entitled, 'Guan Yu Captures an Enemy General', by the early 15th century painter, Shang Xi, illustrated by C. Clunas, Art in China, p. 70, fig. 32.