Wu Bin (painter)

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Detail of landscape by Wu Bin, ink and color on paper, 1610; Honolulu Museum of Art

Wu Bin (simplified Chinese: 吴彬; traditional Chinese: 吳彬; pinyin: Wú Bīn; Wade-Giles: Wu Pin) was a Chinese landscape painter during the reign of the Ming Dynasty Wanli Emperor (r. 1573-1620). His specific dates of birth and death are not known.

Wu was born in Putian in the Fujian province.[1] Wu's style was unique, and he primarily painted landscapes and human figures.

Initially he was a high civil servant, his status was Emperor's secretary dealing with public works. Later he became a Zen monk (that is, Ch´an Buddhism) at the Qixia Temple in Nanjing and often he depicted Buddhist monks and priest behaving as magicians, performing superstitious rituals and healing practices to satisfy requests made by religious men and women. These are colourful portraits where irony and sarcasm prevails. The 1591 handscroll entitled "The 16 Luohans" exemplifies such work.

His social name was "Wenzhong" and his nickname "Zhiyin Toutuo" means "Mendicant monk at the temple hidden by tree branches".

Some sources indicate that he died in 1627.


  1. ^ "Wú Bīn Brief Biography". Retrieved 2008-07-09.