Tu Chin (originally surnamed Lu) was a native of Tan-t'u (modern Chen-chiang, Kiangsu) but later resided in Nanking. His style name was Chu-nan and sobriquets Ch'eng-chu and Ku-Kuang, and he also signed his name Ch'ing-hsia t'ing-chang. Early in the Ch'eng-hua era (ca. 1465), he took the civil service exams, but failed, thereafter devoting himself instead to poetry, writing, calligraphy, and painting.
Originally, this work may have been two hanging scroll panels mounted as a standing screen. Representing the appreciation of antiquities, it depicts the leisurely activities of zither, chess, calligraphy, and painting associated with literati. The style is elegant and straightforward, much in the tradition of the Southern Song (1127-1279) academic mode. Tu Chin's fine brush style, as seen in the figures here, greatly influenced the style of Tang Yin starting from the middle of his career.