Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Kung Ting-tzŭ

KUNG Ting-tzŭ 龔鼎孳 (T. 孝升, H. 芝麓), Jan. 6, 1616–1673, Oct. 21, poet, landscape painter and official under three régimes in Peking during the Ming-Ch'ing transition period, was a native of Ho-fei, Anhwei. After becoming a chin-shih in 1634 at the early age of twenty sui, he served as magistrate of Ch'i-shui, Hupeh, for six or seven years (1635–?) and was then promoted to be a censor in Peking. When Peking fell into the hands of Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.] for a brief period in 1644, Kung was given the concurrent post of superintendent of police of the north city. Under the Manchus he continued to serve as a censor and in other capacities. In later years he served as president of the Board of Punishments (1664–66), of the Board of War (1666–69), and of the Board of Ceremonies (1669–73). In 1670, and again in 1673, he was chief examiner in the metropolitan examinations. The posthumous title Tuan-i 端毅 was conferred on him, but was revoked by order of Emperor Kao-tsung in 1769.

Kung Ting-tzŭ was well known in his time as a poet, and it is as a poet that he is likely to be remembered by posterity. His name is linked with that of Ch'ien Ch'ien-i and Wu Wei-yeh [qq. v.] as one of the "three master poets of the eastern Yangtze region" (江左三大家). His collected poems, 定山堂集 Ting-shan-t'ang chi, were first printed in 1673, but were included in the list of banned books in the Ch'ien-lung reign-period. However, a fuller edition in 43 chüan with 4 supplementary chüan of poetry in irregular meter (here called shih-yü 詩餘, but usually known as tz'ŭ 詞) was printed with the same title in 1883 by a descendant in the fourteenth generation. This descendant also printed his ancestor's memorials to the throne, 龔端毅公奏疏 Kung Tuan-i kung tsou-su, in 8 chüan with 2 appendices. Kung Ting-tzŭ had a concubine by the name of Ku Mei 顧眉 (湄, 嵋 or 媚, T. 眉[梅]生 or 眉莊 H. 橫波) whose family name was originally Hsü 徐. She was talented in music, poetry, and painting, excelling particularly in the delineation of orchids and bamboo.

For his relations with Adam Schall see under Yang Kuang-hsien [q. v.].


[1/489/17a; 6/44/11a; 19/甲上/14b; Ho-fei-hsien chih (1920 reprint of 1803 ed.) 24/1b; Li Chia-fu 李家孚, Ho-fei shih-hua (詩話, 1928), 上/1a; L.T.C.L.H.M., 465b lists 3 paintings by Ku Mei: 6 others on orchids and bamboo were reproduced by the 有正書局 Yu-chêng shu-chü, Shanghai, as supplement 39 in the series 中國名畫集 Chung-kuo ming-hua chi; Goodrich, L. C., The Literary Inquisition of Ch'ien-lung, p. 220; Yü Huai [q. v.], Pan-ch'iao tsa-chi, chüan 中.]

Tu Lien-chê