Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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清拓 《史晨碑》 冊 十九世紀拓本
Stele for Shi Chen

Artist:
Unidentified Artist Chinese
Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
19th century rubbing; stele dated A.D. 169
Culture:
China
Medium:
Rubbing mounted in an album of thirty-two leaves; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 10 7/8 x 5 5/8 in. (27.6 x 14.3 cm) Overall with mounting: 13 7/8 x 7 7/16 in. (35.2 x 18.9 cm)
Classification:
Rubbing
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wan-go H. C. Weng, 1992
Accession Number:
1992.166.2a–ff
Not on view
For nearly eighteen hundred years, the stone stele from which this rubbing was taken has stood in the Temple of Confucius, adjacent to the sage's birthplace in Qufu, Shandong Province. The stele bears engraved texts concerning rituals conducted at the temple in Confucius's memory. When the official Shi Chen arrived in Qufu in A.D. 168, he personally financed an elaborate ritual that included sacrificial offerings. He then submitted a memorial to Emperor Ling (r. 168–69) requesting funds to pay for the rituals each year in the spring and autumn.

The calligraphy on the stele is an example of Han-dynasty clerical script. Originally developed by scribes and bureaucrats for everyday writing, this script type came to be widely used for stone inscriptions requiring strict, orderly forms of writing. In clerical script, blocky characters fit into an imaginary grid, and strokes tend to be of even thickness. Some horizontal strokes end in sharply defined, angular tips, while curved and downward-flaring strokes display complex shapes. The spacious layout of the text and even spacing of the strokes create a sense of dignity appropriate to the stele's placement within the temple precinct.
Inscription: Artists’ Inscription

Unidentified, 91 columns in clerical script

Label Strip

Weng Tonghe 翁同龢 (1830–1904), 2 columns in standard script, undated:

魯相史晨祀孔子奏銘。碩寬堂藏本,均齋重裝。

Colophons

1. Xu Tinggao 許廷誥 (1765–ca. 1814), 2 columns in semi-cursive script, dated 1838; 3 seals:

道光十八年戊戌閏月二十五日伯緘手黏於翦雨樓,峕年七十四。 [印]: 翦雨樓、緘翁、廷誥

2. Weng Tonghe 翁同龢 (1830–1904), 3 columns in standard script, dated 1878:

翦雨難尋破竈烟,碩寬堂集擬重编。
銀藤花底飛觴處,忍憶綦痕三十年。
戊申春日曾陪先生飲於東齋藤花下。戊寅二月四日鐙下倦極思睡,偶展此冊,感而題之。

3. Xu Tinggao 許廷誥 (1765–ca. 1814), 3 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

碑高七尺,廣三尺四寸,十七行,行卅六字。今在曲阜縣聖廟。
魯相史晨祀孔子奏銘 [印]: 翦雨樓、碩寬堂

4. Weng Tonghe 翁同龢 (1830–1904), 1 column in standard script, undated; 1 seal:

此題懺乃許伯緘丈手筆,得者善護之。同龢記。 [印]: 叔平

Collectors' seals

Weng Tonghe 翁同龢 (1830–1904)
常熟翁同和印信長壽
均齋祕笈
翁叔平所得金石文字
大樂

Weng Zhilian 翁之廉 (1882–1919)
翁之廉印
長壽
玉蘭堂
常熟翁之廉錦芝收藏書畫金石精品記
珍玩

Weng Wan’ge 翁萬戈 (Wan-go H.C. Weng, born 1918)
翁萬戈藏
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Traditional Scholarly Values at the End of the Qing Dynasty: The Collection of Weng Tonghe (1830–1904)," June 30, 1998–January 3, 1999.

Princeton University Art Museum. "The Embodied Image: Chinese Calligraphy from the John B. Elliott Collection," March 25, 1999–July 3, 1999.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Brush and Ink: The Chinese Art of Writing," September 2, 2006–January 21, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy—Selections from the Collection of Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang," April 29, 2014–August 17, 2014.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Art of the Chinese Album," September 6, 2014–March 29, 2015.

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