Nov 10, 2009
Nov 10, 2009

Listening to the Qin (Zither)

Listening to the Qin (Zither)


1150–after 1225

Liu Songnian 劉松年

(Chinese, c. 1150-after 1225)

Album leaf; ink and slight color on silk

Image: 23.8 x 24.6 cm (9 3/8 x 9 11/16 in.); with mat: 33.3 x 40.5 cm (13 1/8 x 15 15/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1983.85

Did you know?

The three figures are painted with "nail-head and mouse-tail" brushstrokes.


Listening to the Qin recalls the story of Bo Ya, a musician who loved to play the qin (a seven-stringed zither) for Zhong Ziqi, who was a discerning listener. The cool shade of the pine trees and the incense wafting from the burner complemented the atmosphere created by the music. After Zhang died, Bo refused to play the instrument ever again. The intimate format of the album leaf focuses on the music as the key to stir the heart and soul of both player and listener.

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