Late Return from a Sprint Outing

Ch'iu Ying (ca. A.D. 1490 1552), Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368 1644)
Ink and color on silk. Hanging scroll. 145.5 x 76.5 cm

Ch'iu Ying was a native of T'ai-ts'ang, Kiangsu. His style name was Shih-fu; his sobriquet was Shih-chou. Ch'iu Ying began his career as an artisan painter. Later he studied with Chou Ch'en and eventually became famous. All of Ch'iu Ying's paintings have the fine delicacy of the Imperial Painting Academy, yet they possess a literary spirit. Ch'iu Ying is also one of the Four Masters of the Ming dynasty.
Circular wave patterns cover the surface of the mirror-like pond. A traveler on horseback returns home along the water's edge. Two servants follow behind - one carrying a musical instrument called, a ch'in, one shouldering containers of food. Another servant has gone ahead and is waiting for someone to open the door. The evening mist has already begun to settle; a bright moon hangs on high. All these details express the theme of the painting.

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