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- Previous Owner(s)
Tonying and Company
A grove, bordered by pine trees, overflows with masses of chrysanthemum and young bamboo. Individually, chrysanthemum is associated with vigor, pine trees with longevity, and bamboo with resilience. But as a symbolic pair, images of pine trees and chrysanthemums often allude to Tao Yuanming's (365-427) famous poem "Returning Home." After serving in government for little more than eighty days, Tao realized it was a disastrous mismatch and resigned, returning home. The painter Wen Zhengming, a Ming dynasty master known for his evocative landscapes, likewise once served in the government but spurned that life to return home. His painting of chrysanthemums and a pine tree alludes to Tao's poem and suggests the moral superiority of a life lived in seclusion:
My fields and garden will be covered with weeds;
. . .
The three paths have become overgrown,
But pines and chrysanthemums remain.
Translation from A. R. Davis, Tao Yuan-ming (AD 365-427): His Works and Their Meaning, 2 vols. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983).
- Published References
- Nakata Yujiro Fu Shen. O-bei shuzo Chugoku hosho meiseki shu (Masterpieces of Chinese Calligraphy in American and European Collections). 6 vols., Tokyo, 1981-1983. pls. 51-53, II.
- Suzuki Kei. Chugoku kaiga sogo zuroku (Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Painting). 5 vols., Tokyo, 1982-1983. pp. 204-205.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum