Group of People in Outdoor Setting, Silk scroll, 42" x 72"
A man is seated at the center of this scroll, in front of a landscape painting and behind a table with a Chinese zither or qin. Three seated men converse before him. Their gray hats indicate they are government officials. A man on the left holds a cloth in which the zither may have been wrapped. Two women, possibly servants, stand at the far left; one plays a Chinese lute, a pipa. Incense burns in the foreground and rolled scrolls lie on the front table. This is called a "zither, chess, calligraphy and painting" scroll, a qin qi shu hua. Dating from the fourteenth century, many such scrolls remain. They show men of letters engaged in respectable accomplishments, such as making music, scholarly pursuits, and painting and were meant to serve as examples to young students. Dating to the Qing Dynasty, this may be a copy of an earlier scroll.
This scroll was one of four donated to the Library in 1962 by Mrs. James A. Thomas. The other three, one depicting a lady, another an elderly man, and the third calligraphy, also hang in the Thomas Room.
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