46) Tu Chin (ca. 1465-ca. 1509). Hanging scroll; ink and slight color on paper. The history of Chinese painting affiliates the Che School with professional painters, and the Wu School with literati painters; and these orientations are in the main correct. But many painters straddled the two schools; and there was also much interaction between the two. Tu Chin was known for his poetry and scholarly interests, but after a low place in the government examinations, he gave up an official career to devote himself full-time to painting. This work reflects his position between the two schools. The articulation of the angular trees and the rock-faces derive from Southern Sung Academy painters like Ma YUan, but the subject matter and the inscription link the work to the literati Wu School. Lin Pu, a famous early Sung poet known for his affection for plum blossoms, wrote the famous couplet describing plum blossoms: Over the shallow water, sparse shadows are intertwining,! Under the dim moonlight, secret fragrances are floating. This painting is a depiction of Lin Pu receiving the inspiration for this verse. Tu Chin s own verse above the work reads:

Leisurely walking with the moon, both my stick and my shoes are slow; It is particularly suited for my half-awakened mood. Finishing a verse on the sparse shadow and cool fragrance, I would like to know if the plum blossoms will understand. Plum blossoms were a common literati metaphor for intellectual and moral purity.

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