Lady Su Hui and Her Verse Puzzle

Artist: In the style of Qiu Ying (Chinese, ca. 1495–1552)

Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Date: 16th century

Culture: China

Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on silk

Dimensions: Image: 10 1/16 in. x 10 ft. 2 3/4 in. (25.6 x 311.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of George D. Pratt, 1933

Accession Number: 33.167


This scene appears in a later copy of a Tang-dynasty painting illustrating the story of a literary legend, Lady Su Hui, who was supposed to have lived in the late fourth century. The dating of the original painting is supported by the types of instruments depicted in it. Both the harp (konghou) and the pipa played with a plectrum disappeared after the Tang.

Front row, left to right: qin, pipa, pipa (played without plectrum), paiban

Back row, left to right: dizi, xiao, sheng, konghou