Liu Chen and Ruan Zhao in the Tiantai Mountains is a long narrative handscroll by Zhao Cangyun. Active in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, he was a member of the Song imperial family who had witnessed the Mongol conquest.

The scroll illustrates a well-known tale: in the Later Han, the gentlemen Liu Chen and Ruan Zhao set off into the Tiantai Mountains to pick medicinal herbs. They lose their way, however, and wander into an immortal realm. They enjoy this realm for what they believe to be half a month, but when they return home seven generations have passed.

Source: Maxwell K. Hearn, Along the Riverbank, (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999).

What follows is a slide show of the scroll, with translations of the accompanying text. Because browsers are Eurocentric, you will need to scroll to the right on each image to view it correctly, from right to left.