Art/ Collection/ Art Object

明 董其昌 行草致陳繼儒書 冊頁
Letter to Chen Jiru (1558-1635)

Dong Qichang (Chinese, 1555–1636)
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Album leaf; ink on ruled paper
9 1/16 x 9 1/16 in. (23 x 23 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988
Accession Number:
Not on view
I did this [painting] for Cheru [Wu Zhengzhi; d. ca. 1619], Assistant Minister of the Court of Imperial Entertainments, in the xinhai year [1611]. This year, I was summoned from the countryside [where I was living in retirement] for official service at the same time as Cheru. I have already vowed in front of my ancestors' tombs not to go, and it is Cheru's idea also to remain remote and withdrawn; so I am taking a poem that I once presented to friend and am inscribing it on this scroll . . . Let Cheru take this [painting] with him when he travels to Jiangmen [Jiangxi], [so that] when he peruses it he will know that I am not behaving like Kong Zhigui [447–501; a famous recluse who rebuked a friend who had professed his intention to retire but later accepted an official appointment]. Three days after the mid-autumn [festival] in the eighth lunar month of the guichou year [October 1, 1613], the niandi [jinshi graduate of the same year] Dong Qichang of Huading wrote this in a skiff near Wuchang.
Signature: Nine lines in cursive script.
Signed, undated, no artist's seal

Inscription: Artist's inscription (9 columns in semi-cursive script)


Collectors' seals

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

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