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The Three Laughers at Tiger Creek

Fu Baoshi Chinese

Not on view

The Buddhist monk Huiyuan (334–416) led a reclusive life and forbade himself from going beyond Tiger Creek. One day he was visited by the Confucian poet Tao Qian (365–417) and the Daoist Lu Xiujing (406–477), and the three men became deeply absorbed in conversation. When Huiyuan strolled with his guests to say farewell, he did not realize he had walked over the creek, causing his tiger to raise a roar of alarm—hence, the spontaneous laughter of the three men. The story is often treated delightfully in painting, with special emphasis on the moment of laughter and awakening, as seen here.

The Three Laughers at Tiger Creek, Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904–1965), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, China

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