Hanging scroll; ink on silk, 3 columns in large running-cursive script
Image: 52 1/2 x 20 7/8 in. (133.4 x 53 cm)
Overall with mounting: 111 1/2 x 29 in. (283.2 x 73.7 cm)
Overall with knobs: 111 1/2 x 32 1/4 in. (283.2 x 81.9 cm)
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Not on view
This work and another in the Xinxiang County Museum, Henan Province, are the only known calligraphic hanging scrolls associated with Zhao Mengfu. In both works,the large cursive script, written in a bold dry-brush, "flying-white" technique, and the loose structure of individual characters suggest a Ming-dynasty date.
The poem, which is recorded in Zhao's collected works, is the first in a series of three entitled "Three Quatrains on Some Immediate Events." It describes the leisurely life of the artist in early summer:
Through the loosely woven bamboo curtain from Xiang, I see a sparse wavy pattern. In my newly tailored white sackcloth gown, gentle heat rises.
The shadow of the sun over the courtyard grows longer, and visitors stay away. About the pond the grass is fragrant, and swallows fly in pairs.
(trans. Wen Fong)
Signature: Unsigned, undated, two artist's seals
Inscription: Title strip: Prince Yongxing (1752–1823), dated 1822