Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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北宋 佚名 雜阿含經 卷
Samyutagama Sutra, chapter 25

Artist:
Unidentified Artist
Period:
Northern Song dynasty (960–1127)
Date:
11th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 9 5/8 in. × 21 ft. 8 3/4 in. (24.4 × 662.3 cm) Overall with mounting: 9 7/8 in. × 23 ft. 11 13/16 in. (25.1 × 731 cm)
Classification:
Calligraphy
Credit Line:
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Accession Number:
1989.363.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 211
Sutra writing developed its own distinctive tradition of regular script in which individual characters retained the squat, fleshy proportions and compact strokes of early clerical script. In this scroll, comprising 325 columns of standard script, the emphatic thickening of vertical strokes also reflects the scribe’s knowledge of the Tang calligrapher Yan Zhenqing (709–785).

Although the scroll is traditionally dated to the Tang dynasty (618–907), a Song date is confirmed by its provenance. The first line of text identifies the scroll’s place of origin as the Guanghui Monastery, a Chan (Zen) Buddhist temple in Zhejiang Province noted for its fine handwritten sutras and high-quality paper. The temple was renamed Guanghui (“boundless kindness”) in 1008, so the scroll cannot date before that year. Since Yan Zhenqing’s style was especially popular during the early Song, the scroll may be dated stylistically to the eleventh century.
Inscription: Artist’s Inscription (327 columns in standard script)

First 3 columns:

海鹽金粟山廣惠禪院大藏,流一十一紙
雜阿含經卷第二十五
宋元帝元嘉年[424–453]中天竺三藏法師求那跋陀羅譯。

Label strip

Unidentified artist, 1 column in standard script, undated:

唐人書金粟山大藏雜阿含經卷第二十五。元

Colophon

Liang Guozhi 梁國治 (1723–1786), Liu Yong 劉墉, Peng Yuanrui 彭元瑞 (1731–1803), Dong Gao 董誥 (1740–1818), Cao Wenzhi 曹文埴 (1735–1798), Jin Shisong 金士松 (1730–1800), 8 columns in standard script, undated; 2 seals:

右 《雜阿含經》 一卷亦廣惠禪院物,不著名款,而末有“東坡居士”印,又“趙子昂氏”印,二印傳刻諸帖中多有之,其篆法嫩醜,色澤新枯,皆贋者所仿為,後無名氏跋遂以爲東坡真跡,謂與世俗所傳坡書真僞迥別,蓋彼亦自知不類,翻作是說以相狥耳。且如卷中“世”字闕筆,“愍”偏旁作“民”,乃唐人避太宗諱,足證其是唐藏,而非坡書矣。臣梁國治、臣劉墉、臣彭元瑞、臣董誥、臣曹文植、臣金士松恭識。 [印]: 臣、治

Inscription (carved on jade clasp, 4 columns in clerical script):

乾隆御賞
唐人書金粟山大藏襍阿含經卷第二十五

Collectors’ seals

Zhao Mengfu 趙孟頫 (1254–1322)
趙氏子昂

Shi Mingzhan 石民瞻 (late 13th c.)
石民瞻印

Zhou Boqi 周伯琦 (1298–1369)
周伯琦印

Qing emperor Qianlong 清帝乾隆 (r. 1736–1795)
乾隆御覽之寳
乾隆御覽之寳
三希堂精鋻璽
宜子孫
太上皇帝之寳
乾隆鋻賞
乾清宮鋻藏寳
祕笈珠林
祕殿新編
珠林重定

Qing emperor Jiaqing 清帝嘉慶 (1760–1820)
嘉慶御覽之寳

Qing emperor Xuantong 清帝宣統 (1906–1967)
宣統御覽之寳

Gu Luofu 顧洛阜 (John M. Crawford, Jr., 1913–1988)
顧洛阜
漢光閣

Pang Nai 龐耐 (Alice Boney, 190l–1988)
龐耐

Unidentified:
四明謝氏寳漢樓真賞

Illegible: 1
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