Illustrations to Tao Qian's Prose Poem Homecoming

Full Title: 
歸去來辭書畫卷; Illustrations to Tao Qian's Prose Poem Homecoming
Ink and colors on silk
30 cm (height) x 438.6 cm (width)
This long handscroll, dated to the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), is an illustration of Tao Qian's 陶潛 poem using the format of alternating calligraphic inscriptions of parts of the poem with the corresponding depiction of individual scenes. This alternation of image and text is a common format that can be found in many Chinese illustrations and in narrative paintings in the handscroll format. It combines the Three Perfections of poetry, calligraphy, and painting. The calligraphic style of the cursive script used in this handscroll to inscribe the poem follows the model of Southern Song Emperor Gaozong 宋高宗 (reigned 1127-62). The painted scenes make use of so-called 'archaic' stylistic allusions and motifs, for example in the use of firm contour lines, the disregard for spatial recession, and the use of color for rendering trees and other landscape motifs.
Repository Accession Number: 
MS 20.1839-41
Special Chinese and Japanese Fund
Description Source: 
University of Chicago Center for the Art of East Asia
Scrolls Project ID: 
728 343