Wen Tong ( ; 1019–1079) was
a Northern Song painter born in
Sichuan famous for his ink bamboo
He was one of the paragons of "scholar's
painting" (shi ren hua), which idealised spontaneity and painting
without financial reward.
He could hold two brushes in one hand and paint two different
distanced bamboos simultaneously. He did not need to see the bamboo
while he painted them because he had seen a lot of them. One
Chinese idiom from him goes "there are whole bamboos in his heart"
(胸有成竹), meaning that one has a well-thought-out plan in his
As many artists of his era, Wen Tong also wrote poetry. As attested
in his poems, he had at least one golden-hair monkey
(金丝狨) and a
number of pet gibbons
, whose graceful
he admired. An elegy written
by him upon the death of one his gibbons has been preserved in the
collection of his works.
- Barnhart, R. M. et al. (1997). Three thousand years of Chinese
painting. New Haven, Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07013-6
- Ci hai bian ji wei yuan hui (辞海编辑委员会）. Ci hai （辞海）. Shanghai:
Shanghai ci shu chu ban she （上海辞书出版社）, 1979.