Tao Qian Admiring Chrysanthemums

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Tao Qian Admiring Chrysanthemums (陶潛賞菊圖)

Attributed to Zhao Lingrang (趙令穰, fl. ca.1070- after 1100), Song Dynasty (960-1279)

Handscroll, ink and color on silk, 29.8 x 76.7 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei

       Zhao Lingrang rose to high rank at court and was posthumously ennobled. Well-read and refined, Zhao was also an accomplished writer. In calligraphy, he excelled at cursive script. In painting, he created snow scenes reminiscent of those of Wang Wei. His shore scenes with waterfowl were said to be imbued with the spirit of waterscapes.

       In this painting, red and green foliage punctuate the sandy banks above a river, where in a pavilion at the shore sit two men admiring several sprigs of flowers. This finely colored painting, however, is not necessarily by Zhao's hand. Although the figures were not specially portrayed to suggest anyone, the colophons at the left, nevertheless, all agree that this painting depict Tao Qian (Tao Yuanming) admiring chrysanthemums.