Tao Yuanming's Return Home


Image: 34.6 x 566.4 cm (13 5/8 x 223 in.); Overall: 37.7 x 1001.1 cm (14 13/16 x 394 1/8 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

Poet Tao Yuanming 陶淵明 (c. 365–427 CE) returned to a secluded life instead of pursuing a civil service career.


Tao Yuanming's revered poem "Return Home 歸去來辭 (Gui qu lai ci)" powerfully conveys his desire to leave bureaucratic life for the simplicity and authenticity of nature. This sentiment has deeply resonated with generations of Chinese scholars, making it a popular theme in paintings.

This handscroll uses continuous narrative depicting Tao in multiple scenes from the poem. Starting on the right, the poet travels to his home. His children wait by the gate, while his wife pauses to tidy her hair before welcoming him. Then, free from the burdens of official service, Tao spends time in both nature and his cottage, where he can again enjoy wine, music, and books.
Tao Yuanming's Return Home

Tao Yuanming's Return Home


China, Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)

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