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Portrait of Tao Yuanming

A work made of hanging scroll; ink and color on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of hanging scroll; ink and color on paper.


Qing dynasty (1644–1911), early 19th century


Yu Zhiding (禹之鼎, 1647-1709?), attributed

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Arts of Asia


Yu Zhiding


Portrait of Tao Yuanming


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.



Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper


Inscription at top: 微風自東來,地脈初回陽。好鳥出幽谷,潛魚濯芳塘。欣欣木向榮,涓涓水流香。萬物俱得時,吾憂亦已忘。歸來衡門下,且復酣杯觴。人生非金石,寓形宇宙間。抱才既沽祿,知休即辭官。委心隨去留,避俗謝往還。遑遑欲何之,富貴不可幹。劃然發長嘯,白雲起南山。農事在東臯,孤往適茲旦。微雨亦既零,土膏濕凝汗。僮奴未盡力,宿草猶余蔓。植杖隴畝旁,耘耔日適旰。勞生雖多難,卒歲應飽飯。帝鄉不可期,歸老全此身。清風謝流俗,高節抗浮雲。舒嘯登東臯,賦詩臨澗濱。有酒輒取醉,不負頭上巾。樂天以乘化,超然真達人。 生世各有時,出處非偶然。淵明賦歸來,往往未易言。後人多墓之,效顰惑媸妍。終然不能去,俯仰塵埃間。斯人真有道,名與日月懸。青松卓然操,黃菊霜中鮮。棄官亦易爾,忍窮北窗眠。撫卷三嘆息,世人無此賢。 辛亥仲冬避難於終南山麓,播閡舊稿,得禹之鼎先生畫淵明小像。寫畢細玩全不似也。 逸世獨立人作於海闊天空之處 “Gentle breeze blows from the East and the weather is starting to warm up. Birds are flying from the valley while fish is swimming in the river. Everything in nature is prospering and I forget my concern and worries. Life is short and I shall make the most out of it. Endowed with talent, I used to be chasing wealth and fame. As I understand the true meaning of life now, I give up my position as an official. I avoid the mundane society and do not care about the court or wealth. I live in the South Hill and work in village in the East Hill. Sometimes it’s raining and the work is laborious. My sweat wets the soil. My servants do not work hard and there still exist a lot of weeds in the field. I work from day and night. The farm work is not easy and I can only get enough to eat at the end of year. I refuse to yield to the convention of the society by keeping my virtue. Sometimes I climb to the top of the East Hill and write poems. When there is wine, I drink freely until drunk. I am enjoying my lifestyle of living aloof.” “Everyone has his own timing and fate. When Tao Yuanming went back from his trip, it’s hard for him to explain the meaning of his lifestyle to other people. Later a lot of people try to follow this lifestyle but they do not get the true meaning of it. Most of them give up and continue under the notion of the society. If the individual is able to comprehend the true meaning of this lifestyle, he is able to give up his officer position easily and stand poverty.” “The work was finished in the winter of year Xinhai while the scholar was hiding in Mount Zhongnan to avoid upheavel. The portrait of Yuanming is painted by Yu Zhiding . Written by ‘individual who is independent of the mundane world’ in the world of broad sea and bright sky (far away from the chaos of the mundane world)” Translated by Yihui Lin, Northwestern University, 2013


82 × 41.3 cm (32 1/4 × 16 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Florence Ayscough and Harley Farnsworth MacNair

Reference Number


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