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Album leaf; ink and color on silk
Overall: 30.2 x 26.7 cm (11 7/8 x 10 1/2 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 19126.96.36.199
Poet Tao Yuanming (365–427 CE) turned down a career as an official in politically turbulent times to return to his home estate, northwest of Mount Lu, to write poetry and enjoy his garden and wine. Having an ailing foot, he was carried in a basket or walked with a staff. As he grew chrysanthemums, Tao is associated with this flower.
The artist Chen Hongshou, active in Zhejiang province, suffered through the violent transition from the Ming to the Qing dynasty around 1644. By portraying the poet who lived a millennium earlier during similarly fraught times, Chen intentionally chose an archaistic style.
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