The Eighteen Scholars of the Tang Artist: Unknown

17th century

Asian Art

Depictions of scholar-gentlemen engaged in painting, writing, chess, and music became popular in Chinese art in the fifteenth century. This painting blends this traditional theme of the scholar-gentleman with that of the Eighteen Scholars of the Tang, who were advisors to the Tang emperor Taizong (r. 626–49 C.E.). Here, eight of the scholars study an ink painting, which refers to a moment when Taizong tricked a venerable monk out of a valuable piece of calligraphy, a work purportedly by the famed Wang Xizhi (265–420 C.E.) that the emperor had long wanted to acquire.


Set of three hanging scrolls, ink and color on silk; with ivory rollers


37 7/8 × 22 5/8 in. (96.2 × 57.5 cm)
without mounting: 37 7/8 × 22 11/16 in. (96.2 × 57.7 cm)
with mounting: 75 1/4 × 27 7/8 in. (191.14 × 70.8 cm)
with rollers: 29 15/16 in. (76 cm)

Credit Line

Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore

Accession Number



Ming dynasty (1368–1644) or Qing dynasty (1644–1911)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955) New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

  • Masterpieces of Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties Collected Overseas (Hangzhou, China: Zhejiang da xue chu ban she, 2011).
  • David Ake Sensabaugh, The Scholar as Collector: Chinese Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2004), 7–9, 11, no. 1, fig. 1a-c.
  • George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 217, no. 425, ill.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

human figures (visual works)



Technical metadata and APIs


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