Man playing a qin beneath a pine tree

On display

This special composition of balancing the ‘fullness’ on the lower left corner and the ‘emptiness’ on the upper right corner is recognized as one of the typical features of works by Ma Yuan and Xia Gui, the two masters from the Southern Song period (1127-1279). The artist’s signature is hidden in the lower left corner on the rock.


  • Title

    Man playing a qin beneath a pine tree

  • Artist/maker

    probably Xia Gui (active 1195 - c. 1235)
  • Associated place

    China (place of creation)
  • Date

    possibly 1195 - c. 1235
  • Material and technique

    ink and slight colour on silk

  • Material index

  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    mount 55.5 x 40.5 cm (height x width)
    painting 24.8 x 23.5 cm (height x width)
  • No. of items


  • Credit line

    Bequeathed by Mrs Isabella Cohn, 1972.

  • Museum location

    Lower ground floor | Gallery 8 | Gallery Eight
  • Museum department

    Eastern Art

  • Accession no.


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Further reading

Vainker, Shelagh, Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2000), no. 2.27 on p. 230, illus. p. 231 fig. 2.27

Vainker, Shelagh, and Xin Chen, A Life in Chinese Art: Essays in Honour of Michael Sullivan (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2012), pp. 74-81, illus. pp. 75 & 80

Reference URL

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