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42) Tai Chin (1388-1452). Returning Home in Spring. Ink and color on silk. Tai Chin was the most gifted painter attached to the revived Court painting academy of the early Ming dynasty. Responding initially to an invitation to join the academy, he soon fell out of step with the Court, resigned his position, and retired to obscurity in his native Che-chiang province. He continued to paint with enthusiasm until the end of his life and is considered the founder of the Che School of Ming painting. This work is among the most famous of his conservative paintings, done in a style that imitates Southern Sung Academy painting. The angular pine tree, the shaded washes reproducing mountain mist, and the fading mountain horizon.~all suggest a painting of Ma Yuan. But, although the foundations of the style are Southern Sung, Tai Chin, working under looser aesthetic constraints than his predecessor, increases the number of narrative details -- the returning master knocks at his gate, his servant hurries with lantern to the door, farmers return home after work, a woman drives a flock of geese along the shore, the temple and pavilion located in the hills -- where only one would have sufficed for the Sung artist.

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