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Ri Haku@—›”’
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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Ch: Li Bai (701-62). One of the two most famous poets of the early Tang dynasty along with Du Fu (Jp: *To Ho “m•á, 712-70) who is depicted in a tradition of imaginary portraits. He used the pseudonym Taibai ‘¾”’ as well as the pen-name Hermit Qinglian (Ch: Qinglian Jushi, Jp: Shouren Koji Â˜@‹Žm) Li Bai's biography is sketchy. He was supposedly born in the far west of China and traveled widely as a youth. A legendary carouser, Li was as prolific a drinker as a poet. According to legend he died after falling into a river while drunkenly trying to catch the reflection of the moon. The scene of Li Bai drunk, which derives from Du Fu's poem Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup *Inchuu hassen ˆù’†”ªå, was a favorite subject of Chinese and Japanese painters. Even better known is Li Bai Gazing at a Waterfall, based on his poem on seeing the falls at Mt. Lu Rozan Kanbaku-zu œIŽRŠÏàe} (Ch: Lushan Guanputu). The subject of a scholar gazing at a waterfall was painted frequently from the Southern Song period, but it was in the Japanese Zen ‘T communities, where Li Bai's poetry was admired and where Mt. Lu was considered a favorite pilgrimage spot, that it was identified as Li Haku. Notable paintings include works by Chuuan Shinkou ’‡ˆÀ^N (mid-15c; Drucker collction.) and Ogata Kourin ”öŒ`Œõ—Ô (1658-1716). The theme was popular in *ukiyo-e •‚¢ŠG where mitate versions *mitate-e Œ©—§ŠG often feature the poet Ono no Komachi ¬–쏬’¬ (see *nanakomachi Žµ¬’¬) in the role of Li Bai.
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