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Exalted Gathering in the Green Woods: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This rare portrait of a literary gathering depicts Tung Ch'i-ch'ang (1555-1636), one of the most important personalities in the history of Chinese art, at the far right. Next to him stands his close friend Ch'en Chi-ju (1558-1639). To the left of Ch'en, the scholars Wang Chih-teng (1535-1612), Chang Feng-i (1550-1636), and Chao Huang-kuang (1559-1625) are shown playing the ch'in. The monk Yen T'ien-ch'ih (17th century) and Chu-hung (1535-1615) appear to the left of them. The men are gathered around a large tai-hu rock to listen to ch'in music, examine scrolls, and to converse. These historic figures epitomize the literati ideal. They were all trained in Confucian classics, some served the state as scholar officials, and all played the reclusive role of retired gentlemen. They defined Ming literati tastes through their painting, calligraphy, music, writing of poetry, carving seals, and collecting of ancient rubbings.

Sensitive to literati pictorial taste, the painter used muted colors and exhibited a variety of brush strokes and a naïve sense of space. The title colophon, composed of five beautifully balanced characters, is signed by Tung himself, the great literatus who created a new artistic and cultural synthesis in the seventeenth century. There are seven attached colophons ranging in date from 1762 to the early twentieth century.

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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009