painting proper Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Baitei was a student of pioneering painter Yosa Buson (1716–1784), whose work is shown nearby. Here, he depicts a historical gathering of poets at the Lanting (Orchid) Pavilion of China’s most famous calligrapher, Wang Xizhi (303–361). Forty poets attended the gathering, where they composed poems while drinking wine from cups floated down a stream. The event was a touchstone subject for literati painters, as it evoked the unfettered lifestyle of the ideal scholar-gentleman. The pavilion—normally the focal point of paintings on the theme—is here barely visible at top right. Baitei’s pictorial surface is pointillistically filled to the brim with tiny foliage strokes, but small groups of participants can be found in openings among the writhing earthen forms. The rendering is both playful and eccentric, as if to suggest that the natural setting is the true essence of the subject.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Ki Baitei, Japanese (Kyoto, Japan 1734 - 1810)
Lanting Pavilion
Work Type
painting, hanging scroll
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
painting proper: H. 92.7 × W. 171.5 cm (36 1/2 × 67 1/2 in.)
overall mounting, including roller ends and suspension cord: H. 207 × W. 198.1 cm (81 1/2 × 78 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Publication History

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), pp. 74-75, cat. 25

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 85, fig. 74

Exhibition History

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 05/21/2013 - 07/15/2013; Miho Museum, 07/20/2013 - 08/18/2013; Tottori Prefectural Museum, 10/05/2013 - 11/10/2013

32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 12/01/2016 - 06/09/2017

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/14/2020 - 07/18/2021

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Articles

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at