Enjoying Antiquities

Tags: Ming dynasty | National Palace Museum | painting


Tu Chin (fl. ca. 1465-1505), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, 126.1 x 187 cm 
Tu Chin (originally surnamed Lu) was a native of Tan-t’u (modern Chen-chiang, Kiangsu) but later resided in Nanking. His style name was Chü-nan and sobriquets Ch’eng-chü and Ku-k’uang, and he also signed his name Ch’ing-hsia t’ing-chang. Early in the Ch’eng-hua era (ca. 1465), he took the civil service exams, but failed, thereafter devoting himself instead to poetry, writing, calligraphy, and painting.

Originally, this work may have been two hanging scroll panels mounted as a standing screen. Representing the appreciation of antiquities, it depicts the leisurely activities of zither, chess, calligraphy, and painting associated with literati. The style is elegant and straightforward, much in the tradition of the Southern Sung (1127-1279) academic mode. Tu Chin’s fine brush style, as seen in the figures here, greatly influenced the style of T’ang Yin starting from the middle of his career.

Text and images are provided by National Palace Museum