Brewing Medicine

Tang Yin (1470-1524)AD 1368-AD 1644

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

Tang Yin (style name Bohu, sobriquet Liuru jushi), a native of Wuxian (Suzhou), came in first place in the Nanjing civil service examinations of 1498. Skilled in poetry, painting, and calligraphy, he is ranked as one of the Four Ming Masters.
This painting shows a medicinalist seated under pine trees with a young attendant taking care of a stove, fanning the flames to brew a concoction. Although the figures are sparingly drawn, the characterization is complete. The brushwork for the rocks and tree trunks is lively as it twists and turns. The pine needles and distant mountains are done with light shades of ink washes that make them appear moist and full of the potential for life, serving as an apt reflection of the idea behind preparing medicine. Tang Yin in his late years suffered from a lung ailment and, according to his inscription at the end of this scroll and the colophon by Zhu Yunming commending the skills of a doctor named Lu Yuezhi, we know that this work was done by Tang around the age of 49 in appreciation of Lu providing him with medicine to treat his problem.


  • Title: Brewing Medicine
  • Creator: Tang Yin (1470-1524)
  • Date Created: AD 1368-AD 1644
  • Physical Dimensions: 28.8 x 119.6cm
  • Type: Handscroll
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Medium: ink and colors on paper
  • Dynasty: Ming dynasty

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