Wang Wei (王維, 699–759) was born into an aristocratic family and served off and on in the government in a variety of positions. In addition to his prolific poetry, he was an accomplished painter and pipa player.
For a couple of years, 740-741, he retired to the Lantian area south of the capital of Chang’an in the Zhongnan Mountains where he collaborated with the poet Pei Di. At some time Wang Wei became a devout Buddhist. He resumed his official career with the government. This however was interrupted by the An Lushan Rebellion.
Wang Wei died in 759 in the midst of the rebellion.