Shi Tao and Dabaoen Temple

As a noted painter in the early Qing Dynasty (1642-1707), Shi Tao, commonly surnamed Zhu with Ruoji as his first name, styled as Shi Tao, was an offspring of the tenth generation of Zhu Zanyi, a vassal in Jingjiang in the Ming Dynasty. In his youth, he moved around in Zhejiang province, Jiangsu province and Anhui province. In the nineteenth year (1680 A.D.) under Kangxi reign of the Qing Dynasty, he lived as a lay Buddhist in Yizhi Pavilion of Dabaoen Temple. During his inhabitation of eight years at this temple, he was engaged in preaching Buddhism, attracting many audiences. Due to his constant tours of noted scenic spots and places of historic interest in Qinhuai area, he completed a number of paintings reflecting Qinhuai sceneries such as “A poem and painting album in memory of ancient Jinling” and “Changgan in autumn”, etc. His representative paintings include “River banks flanked by willows in bright autumn ”, “Playing stringed musical instruments over wide Qinhuai River” and “Sunset over sparse woods”, etc. In the twenty-third year under Kangxi reign (1684 A.D.),  emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty came to visit Dabaoen Temple on his inspection tour in southern China. He was then greeted by Shi Tao and all monks. In the twenty-sixth year under Kangxi reign (1687 A.D.), Shi Tao left the temple.  


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