About Lin Daiyu
Lin Daiyu is one of the principal characters in Cao Xueqin’s classic 18th-century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. She is portrayed as a well-educated, intelligent, witty and beautiful young woman of physical frailness who is somewhat prone to occasional melancholy. The love triangle between Daiyu, Jia Baoyu and Xue Baochai forms one of the main threads of the book.
Daiyu is the daughter of Lin Ruhai and Jia Menglan. She is a distant cousin of Jia Baoyu, and she is brought to live with the Jia family after the death of her mother. Daiyu is immediately drawn to Baoyu, who shares her love of books and poetry. However, their relationship is complicated by the presence of Baoyu’s other cousin, Xue Baochai. Baochai is a more practical and down-to-earth woman than Daiyu, and she is eventually chosen by Baoyu as his wife.
Daiyu is heartbroken by Baoyu’s choice, and she eventually dies of a broken heart. Her death is a major turning point in the novel, and it marks the beginning of the decline of the Jia family.
Daiyu is a complex and tragic figure, and she is one of the most popular characters in Dream of the Red Chamber. She is a reminder that love is not always easy, and that even the strongest of hearts can be broken.
Lin Daiyu is a complex and tragic figure, but she is also a deeply sympathetic one. She is a reminder that love is not always easy, and that even the strongest of hearts can be broken.
About this Portrait
Chinese watercolor, on rice paper. Dream of the Red Chamber (1975-85)
Painted by Xiang Li