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Dongpo’s Teapot

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Medium: ink on paper
Format: album

Calligrapher(s): You Yin (1732–1813)

Dimensions: 31.6 cm × 31 cm

This album contains a painting by the Qing-dynasty (1644–1911) artist You Yin (1732–1813) called Dongpo’s Teapot (Dongpo xiansheng shiyao tu) and “Matched Rhymes on Zhou Zhonghui’s Teapot” (Ciyun Zhou Zhonghui shiyao) by Su Shi (1037–1101, style name Dongpo Jushi) as calligraphed by Wang Wenzhi (1730–1802). The poetry and painting complement each other perfectly. When You Yin obtained a ceramic teapot with the inscription Yuanyou (as in the Yuanyou reign, 1086–1094, of the Northern Song dynasty, 960–1127), he compared it with the teapot described in “Matched Rhymes on Zhou Zhonghui’s Teapot” and came to the belief that it was in fact once owned by Su Shi. You eventually donated the vessel to the Imperial Household Department and painted it numerous times as gifts for friends. The image of Dongpo’s teapot was in this way established in the popular imagination.

Originally from Yizheng in Jiangsu Province, You Yin was a talented poet and painter who went by the courtesy name (zi) Gongfu (written with two different fu characters) and by the style name (hao) Shuicun.

Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu

 

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