mounted flat; 33 ribs, each with one line of text in black on gold paper; two red seals, LLC

Calligraphy Fan in Xiao Kai Shu Script, 1585


Ink on gold paperexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2005.54.1

Du Dazhong, a Ming official, was a noted Suzhou calligrapher and a member of the Wu school group of writers associated with Wang Zhiteng (1535-1612). This calligraphy fan, carefully written in Xiao Kai Shu (small regular script), is the recreation of an extraordinarily dense prose poem composed by the Tang poet Yang Jiong (650-c. 694) titled "Prose Poem While Leaning on the Study Desk," which the poet wrote on a paper fan in a moment of inspiration after gazing upon mountain peaks shrouded in mist and rain. The verse recounts the serious rigor of true scholarship.

A few lines read:

Scholars have transmitted the classics and are involved in extending knowledge to the utmost...
They have exerted themselves in study questing after improvement...
How can a scholar sleep in peaceful withdrawal...
Let him emulate the national craftsmen and develop their skill.
May he model himself on mountains and forests, taking them as his pattern...

Calligraphy Fan in Xiao Kai Shu Script
Artist Life
late 16th century
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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mounted flat; 33 ribs, each with one line of text in black on gold paper; two red seals, LLC