Art/ Collection/ Art Object

清 趙之謙 隸書引首 卷
The Lingshouhua Studio

Artist:
Zhao Zhiqian (Chinese, 1829–1884)
Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
1863
Culture:
China
Medium:
Horizontal panel; ink on paper
Dimensions:
13 x 40 3/4 in. (33 x 103.5 cm)
Classification:
Calligraphy
Credit Line:
Gift of Shou-cheng Zhang and Xiu-ping Loh Zhang, 2000
Accession Number:
2000.514.50
Not on view
Zhao Zhiqian, the leading scholar-artist of his day, grew up in a merchant family but received a classical education in order to pursue a career in government. Passing the provincial civil-service examination in 1859, Zhao spent the next twelve years in Beijing selling his art while trying unsuccessfully to pass the capital examination before being awarded a post as district magistrate in Jiangxi Province in 1872.

Zhao was equally renowned as a calligrapher, seal carver, and painter. He is best known for a distinctive "square-brush" style of calligraphy derived from the engraved stone writings of the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534), as seen in his dedication and signature here, but he also developed a distinctively plump seal-script manner exemplified by this couplet, which expresses a sentiment appropriate for a Confucian household:

Great virtue comes from forbearance,
sincerity comes from a mind free from deception.
(Jason Sun, translated)
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (1 line in large standard script followed by 7 columns in standard script)

靈壽華館
中有靈壽華,來下龍鳳鶴(謂所藏雲峰、焦山二石)。
上下三千年,止此特健藥。
癸亥十月之謙為均初仁兄同年。

Artist's seal

Zhao Zhiqian yin 趙之謙印
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