The Poet Lin Bu Wandering in the Moonlight

The Poet Lin Bu Wandering in the Moonlight


late 1400s

Du Jin 杜堇

(Chinese, 1446-c. 1519)

China, Ming dynasty


Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper

Image: 156.4 x 72.4 cm (61 9/16 x 28 1/2 in.); Overall with knobs: 286.4 x 99 cm (112 3/4 x 39 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1954.582


Did you know?

Lin Bu withdrew from prestigious government service and lived as a hermit by the West Lake in Hangzhou.


Lin Bu (967–1028), a Northern Song (960–1127) poet and hermit who lived at the West Lake in Hangzhou, was known for having plum trees for his female companions and cranes for his children. This hanging scroll depicts the poet walking in the moonlight and looking at the plum tree, a scene described in his most well-known poem on plum blossoms.

Surviving works signed by Du Jin are rare and this painting is one of them. Here, the artist used lively brushwork to depict the plum tree and rocks, exemplified in varying dots and strokes, and sweeps in different shades of ink.

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