Inscription: By Huang Miaozi:
In the past, artists like to paint Zhong Gui because the old man appears in many humorous situations. For instance, Li Fangyin [1695–1754] wrote a poem for his "Zhong Gui in the Storm" that said:
There was a big storm at the time of the Dragon Boat Festival [May 5th].
The harvested wheat was spoiled by mud on the threshing ground.
Zhong Gui still had extra money to spend.
After all, only the people are poor; ghosts are not.
Another outlandish fellow of the Qing dynasty, Shitao [1630–?] inscribed his "Drunken Zhong Gui Returning" saying:
Muddy feet, broken umbrella and a single light;
Selling Taoist characters everywhere,
He then returns late because he is drunk.
Trembling with fear, he is afraid of being seduced by ghosts.
These two poems are good for a laugh. Jiangdong Fan San did his "Zhong Gui Holding a Sword". People asked me what I would write. I said "Only he knows."
Calligrapher's seals: 1. Miaozi (square, white characters)
2. Leifu (square, white characters)
3. Gefeng Studio (rectangular, red characters)
Marking: Collectors' seals: Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Collection