Besides The Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou :
Ding Youyu and His Portrait
Zhuang Sue
Graduate School of Art History
Taipei National University of The Arts
Huang Shen (1687-c.1770), one of the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou of the
middle Qing, painted a handscroll of “Seated Portrait of Ding Youyu”, which is now
in the collection of Nantong Museum. Who is Ding Youyu? This question has never
been regarded or discussed by Chinese art historians. However, Ding Youyu
(1682-after1764), who lived in Nantong, was actually a very famous literate in
Jiangnan region. He was friend of the Yangzhou Eccentrics. In addition to Huang
Shen, he had been very closely in contact with Li Shan (1686-c.1756), Li Fangying
(1695-c.1755), Zheng Xie (1693-1765), and Luo Pin (1733-1799). Especially, he was
an intimate friend of Li Fangying. The dating of living time of the latter now mostly
depends on his writings. This article tried to, through the extant literary and art works
of Ding, the colophons inscribed on the scroll of “Seated Portrait of Ding Youyu”,
and the writings of Ding’s friends, explore the life accounts of Ding Youyu, discuss
the achievement of his arts, and unfold the puzzle friendship between him and the
Yangzhou Eccentrics and his contemporary literati. Then, the painting process and the
original owner of Huang’s handscroll were debated.
Keywords: the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou, handscroll of “Seated portrait of Ding
Youyu”, Jiangnan