Life Portrait of Yinti, Prince Xun (1688-1755)

Artist: Formerly attributed to Wu Daozi (傳)吳道子 (active ca. 710-760)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, mid-18th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 172.4 x 113 cm (67 7/8 x 44 1/2 in) H x W (overall): 332 x 150 cm (130 11/16 x 59 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program and partial gift of Richard G. Pritzlaff
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, portrait, prince, Pritzlaff collection, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable

Yinti probably commissioned this informal portrait in an attempt at fashioning a particular kind of self-image. The wooden pole behind him is the type of staff favored by scholars and high-minded men in rustic reclusion. In truth, Yinti was deeply enmeshed in court politics, but as the poem written above his image indicates, he liked to think of himself in communion with "the Way," a state of naturalness and heightened spiritual awakening.

Meticulous modeling with graduated color washes gives Yinti's face a three-dimensional, almost sculptural quality that contrasts with the flat, patterned treatment of the clothing and carpet. The illusionistic treatment of the face is indebted to Western painting style, which was of great interest to Chinese painters during the eighteenth century and later.

Published References
  • Jan Stuart, Evelyn S. Rawski. Worshiping the Ancestors: Chinese Commemorative Portraits. Exh. cat. Washington and Stanford. p. 69, fig. 2.14.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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