The poem Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup (Yinzhong baxian) was written by the famous Tang dynasty poet Du Fu (AD 712-770) who, like many Tang dynasty men of letters, derived considerable enjoyment, and, apparently, inspiration, from drinking wine. In his poem he chose to celebrate the drinking habits of other literary men of his time, including that of his great friend Li Bai (AD 701-62). This poem provided the subject for paintings at least as early as the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), and appeared as decoration on porcelain in the Qing dynasty Shunzhi reign (1644-1661), although it was particularly popular in the Kangxi reign (1662-1722). For a yellow-ground, blue and white and polychrome bowl also decorated with scenes from this poem in eight panels, as well as a description of each immortal see lot 3587 in this catalogue. Also see lot 3557 for a small blue and white stem cup with another scene from this poem.