Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi, Wearing Traditional Costume, Holding the 'Yin-Yang' Symbol

Image credit: Wellcome Collection

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Fu Hsi (c.4,000 BC) is the father of the Chinese Tai Chi Philosophy of yin and yang and thus the I Ching. His theory was based on a system of eight 'trigrams' (patterns of lines based on the yin-yang symbols, which together represent stages in the continuous process of change, and the connections between past, present and future). The yin-yang symbol represents the perfect balance between the interaction of opposites in the universe, and is central to the principles of Chinese medicine.

Wellcome Collection



Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi, Wearing Traditional Costume, Holding the 'Yin-Yang' Symbol


19th C (?)


watercolour on paper (?)


H 35.2 x W 26.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presumed to be part of the collection formed by Henry S. Wellcome

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Wellcome Collection

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