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Tea Drinking Under the Wutong Tree

A work made of handscroll; ink and slight color on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of handscroll; ink and slight color on paper.


Ming dynasty (1369–1644), 1509


Tang Yin 唐寅 (Chinese, 1470-1523)

About this artwork

Generations of Chinese intellectuals and Buddhist monks honed the practice of tea tasting into a high art form. The “bamboo stove” —a carrying case that contained a ceramic kettle used for heating water—was central to the process of tea preparation. This ingenious device, fanned by a servant in the center of this painting, was the subject of a poem by Wu Kuan (1435-1504), a close friend of Tang Yin. In this composition, Wu appears on a low platform with a teapot and a scroll by his side. He shared the tea ceremony with a Buddhist monk, while another servant draws fresh water from a nearby stream.

Five years after Wu Kuan’s death, Tang Yin executed this delicate vignette in the writer’s memory. The first colophon was written by Zhu Yunming (1461-1527), a famous poet and calligrapher who exchanged tea-related verses with Mr. Wu. Such commemorative paintings provide poignant records of Chinese intellectual and cultured society.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Tang Yin


Tea Drinking Under the Wutong Tree


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Handscroll; ink and slight color on paper


116.6 × 23.8 cm (9 3/16 × 45 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment Fund

Reference Number


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