（There are seven parts/videos for the topic “Seven Sages of the Bamboo-Grove” )
The seven sages of the bamboo grove refer to the seven famous scholars of the mid-third Century (during the Wei and Jin Dynasties): Ji Kang (嵇康), Ruan Ji (阮籍), Shan Tao (山涛), Xiang Xiu (向秀), Liu Ling (刘伶), Wang Rong (王戎), and Ruan Xian (阮咸) whom people called “the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove“. They were a group of outstanding writers, calligraphers, painters, and musicians who were viewed as embodying the values of naturalness and non-conformity.
Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove (with Rong Qiqi) 《竹林七賢與榮啟期》
Above is an image of the famous Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, along with the mythological folk hero Rong Qiqi 荣启期. Rong Qiqi was depicted as a recluse, who shuns material possessions and lives an ascetic life. The image is a rubbing of a tomb mural from around the turn of the fifth century unearthed near Nanjing.
- What does this image of each sage tell us about each sage and as a whole what were these sages viewed in the medieval world and what do you think they represent?
- What does it tell us about the tomb occupant?
中國美術史–竹林七賢 (蔣勳) （Video in Chinese）：
- Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove | Chinese literary group
- Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove | Asia Society
- The Seven Worthies of the Bamboo Grove | Cleveland Museum of Art
- 竹林七賢之一的嵇康：One of the well-known musics, Guang Ling San 广陵散 , was made well known by Ji Kang （224-263 C.E.）who was said to play this song before he was executed. Ji Kang was the leader of the seven sages. He advocates “越名教而任自然” meaning to follow the nature, not contracting it in thought and action, but rebel against orthodox Confucian rituals and conventions.
- Ji Kang and Ruan Ji
- ORIGINAL PAPER– Musical Naturalism in the Thought of J I Kang by David Chai
The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove have inspired not only generations of poets, but also painters and other artists.