Poet Tao Yuanming and his Poem The Return

Pu Ru

Pu Ru - Poet Tao Yuanming and his Poem The Return
Puru, better-known by his courtesy name Xinyu, was born to the imperial family in Beijing at the end of the Chinese Empire. From his early youth, he was educated in the traditional manner and excelled in all three noble disciplines – poetry, calligraphy and painting. He is seen as one of the last literati painters in China whose art harmoniously blends these three skills. Puru’s earliest work in the Prague collection captures the figure of poet Tao Yuanming above whom his famous poem Return is inscribed in a style falling somewhere between the clerical and standard scripts. His meticulous and restrained brushwork with thickened and long horizontal (as well as rightward-leaning) strokes gives an impression of purity and refined elegance. The poet’s figure is painted in several meticulous contour strokes with sparse colour additions to the face, hands and upturned points of his shoes. However, the line outlining the drapery folds perfectly evokes an impression of volume and corporeality. The painting was brought to Czechoslovakia by Vojtěch Chytil in the early 1930s. Such an early artwork by Puru is rare in European collections.
measurements: height 69,3 cm
width 25,3 cm
in collections:
material: Ink and colors on paper
technique: Painting
inventory number: Vm 5722
gallery collection: Collection of Asian and African Art