Listening to the Qin


late 1400s–early 1500s

attributed to Tang Yin 唐寅

(Chinese, 1470–1523)
Overall with knobs: 118 x 45 cm (46 7/16 x 17 11/16 in.); Painting: 35.8 x 29.1 cm (14 1/8 x 11 7/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

The painting is mounted in a Japanese-style three-tier format with futai.


The painting alludes to a legendary incident from the life of Ji Kang 嵇康 (AD 223–262), a guqin player who belonged to a group of 3rd-century eccentric intellectuals. Ji Kang is known as the author of a Guangling San (廣陵散; Melody from Guangling), a composition for the guqin so haunting that it aroused spirits to visit him. The painting depicts the moment when one of the spirits––disguised as a human––is helped by another to emerge from the ground, while others are drawn to the musician playing in his cottage under the full moon.
Listening to the Qin

Listening to the Qin

late 1400s–early 1500s

Tang Yin

(Chinese, 1470–1523)
China, Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

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