A VERY LARGE AND IMPRESSIVE PAINTED SCROLL. "As a pantheon of divinities, this work illustrates many pre-modern Chinese people's eclectic interest in multiple religious practices and ends. In the upper third of the work, figures from Buddhism and Daoism appear in a heavenly realm of billowing clouds. The historical Buddha, Shakamuni (Shijiamunifo), is surrounded by other Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and such fearsome but protective figures as the Four Heavenly Kings (Sida tianwang) and the Four Great Vajras (Sida jin'gang). Tibetan Buddhist attire and esoteric iconography identify a number of these figures as originating in the Tibetan Tantric Buddhism that many of the Qing emperors supported. The main figure below Shakyamuni is the Jade Emperor (Yuhuang dadi). Attended by the Dark Warrior (Xuanwu), Confucius, and others, he holds court and receives a report. Beneath the Jade Emperor, roiling waves spill into the middle third of the pantheon, carrying a boatful of watery gods. Among them are the White Dragon (Bailong), the Dragon Mother (Longmu), and the Water Official (Shuiguan) ... Prominent among the gods in this terrestrial section are popular deities worshipped for long life and good fortune [including] Guan Yu... who came to be worshipped as a god of wealth... immediately to the right of the watery deities are the Stars of Good Fortune, Emolument, and Longevity (Fuxing, Luxing, and Shouxing). At the base of the palace structure on the left side of the painting sit the gods of the Five Paths to Wealth (Wulu casihen)" (All Under Heaven).
One notable feature of this painting is that many of the figures are neatly named, which is not common.