Art/ Collection/ Art Object

北宋 佚名 睢陽五老,畢世長像 冊頁
Portrait of Bi Shichang, from the set Five Old Men of Suiyang

Artist:
Unidentified Artist Chinese, active 11th century
Period:
Northern Song dynasty (960–1127)
Date:
before 1056
Culture:
China
Medium:
Album leaf; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 15 3/4 x 12 5/8 in. (40 x 32.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1917
Accession Number:
17.170.1
Not on view
This portrait is one of a set that commemorates a gathering of five retired gentlemen at Suiyang, Henan Province. The sensitive delineation of features in contrast to the thick shaded brush lines of the garment reflects Tang dynasty conventions of official portraiture and a conservatism appropriate to the subject. Equally formal is the inscription written in regular script-a style also used for steles and official documents.

Two portraits from this set of five are at the Freer Gallery, Washington, D.C., and two are in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature, or seal

Other inscription

Unidentified artist, 1 column in standard script, ca. 1060:

Bi Shichang, retired Chief Minister of the Court of the National Granaries, age ninety-four (sui).

司農卿致仕畢世長九十四歲

Collectors’ seals

Unidentified
Suiyang shijia 睢陽世家
Cheng ? 成囗

Note
For the frontispiece and colophons originally attached to this set of portraits mounted separately as an album, see 17.136a–r.
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