Artists with the Guqin
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Artists with the Guqin 1 畫家與古琴

Many famous scholars played the qin. Some, such as Wang Wei, though best known as poets, were also painters. The skills of these artists are generally not known -- in fact some perhaps rarely or never played. However, given the connection between qin and art, it is interesting to further examine those artists who seem to have had a particular connection to the qin.

This issue has not been a focus of my work, so at present names will be added here as I encounter them, rather than as a result of specific searches for such artists. Of course, suggestions will be appreciated. The focus is finding evidence of artists who played the qin.

Relevant artists include:

  1. 文徵明 Wen Zhengming (1470 - 1559; Wiki)
    Wen Zhengming was one of the Four Gentlemen of Wu, four friends (including Tang Yin) who were poet-painters in Suzhou. Another friend was the qin player Yang Shousu. A qin apparently from Wen's household was later owned by the female Suzhou poet Xian Xian. Wen's painting Qin Player Among Plantain and Rocks is discussed in the article by James Watt. He had homes named 停雲館 Tingyun Guan and 梅華屋 Meihua Wu. See Giles, ICTCL, p.759, etc.

  2. 唐寅 Tang Yin (1470-1523; Wiki)
    As with Wen Zhengming above, a poet painter in Suzhou. His paintings are often accompanied by his own poems, and some of these suggest he himself played qin. Paintings attributed to him that either depict a qin player or mention qin in their inscription inlude:
  3. 仇英 Qiu Ying (style name 伯虎 Bohu; 1494 - 1552)
    There are quite a few references here to Qiu Ying, but I have not yet found direct evidence that he actually played qin himself.

  4. 陳洪綬 Chen Hongshou (1598-1652; Wiki)
    Chen. famous and with a very distinctive style, was perhaps the most notable literati painter to depict women playing the qin. He might be identified by style name (章侯 Zhanghou) or nicknames (老蓮 Laolian, 弗遲 Fuchi (弗遲老人 old man Fuchi), 雲門僧 Yunmenseng, 悔遲 Huichi, 遲和尚 Chiheshang and 悔僧 Huiseng).

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Artists with guqin
This page added 2007. Not yet properly developed: suggestions welcomed. Some sites of interest include these digital archives (see also the surrounding pages).

3. Tang Yin playing qin
The inscription is actually the second of a set of two poems by Tang Yin, as follows:

詠懷詩(二首) Two poems to express my feelings (the second is Shrubs and Bamboos [Guanmu conghuang])

郁郁梁楝姿 落落璠璵器
空山歲歷晚 冰霰義如至
朽腐何足論 壯哉風雲氣
書生空白頭 三嘆橫流涕

灌木寒聲集 叢篁靜色深   (elsewhere ...叢篠靜色深)
冰霜歲聿暮 方昭君子心
射干蔽豫章 慨惜自古今
嶰谷失黃鍾 大雅變正音
為子酌大斗 為我調鳴琴
仰偃草木間 世道隨浮沉

The penultimate line reads, "For you pour a large cup of wine, for myself play qin". (source)

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