Signature: Inscribed: "Zhou Wenju's Liuli Hall figure painting; a divine work of extraordinary brilliance"
Inscription: Inscription on the right hand side, in the style of the Emperor Hui-tsung (r. 1101-1126) reads: Scholars of the Liuli Hall by Zhou Wenju (ca. 961-975) Divine class.
Wang Yijian of Shanyin, Zhekiang (Southern Song, 13th century): 10 lines of regular script, undated:
"Zhang Qiao of the Tang inscribed the 'Hall' quatrain, written by Wang Changling for Xu Tang [a prominent Tang scholar] of Shangyuan [Kiangsu] which goes: 'Within the Liuli Hall, the guests of those days have long since departed, but the sound of their changing has passed to their successors. After 140 years, the courtyard and pines are old. It's as though the poets are again to be seen. [Wang] Changling was a native of Jiangning [in Kiangsu], which later changed its name to Shangyuan. [Zhang] Qiao was a jinshi during the Xiantong era [i.e. 860–73] and was roughly contemporary with [Wang] Changling and the poem.
The so-called 'Liuli Hall' was in Jinling [i.e. Nanking] without a doubt. Thus [the subject] should have entered Jiangnang [collection] of painting, but the specifics are not known. Several decades after the Xiantong era when [Zhou] Wenju took up the brush, what had become of the government? [Yet] did not the bent old pine proudly preserve the old thing [i.e. the poem] of Wang [Changling] and Xü [Tang]? Wang Yijian of Shanyin". [Zhekiang]
Seals: 1. Wang Lide fu (square, relief)
2. Chen(?) feng yin (square, relief/ intaglio)
3. Tongyunanju (square, relief)
4. Pingdengge cang (square, intaglio)
5. Shanjing(?) (square, relief)
6. (?) Quan shijia chen shi jiancang shuhua tuzhi yinzhang (square, relief)
Colophon section mounted after painting:
Qiu Songsheng (late Qing): Colophon in one line of regular script, dated 1902: "in the year renyin of the Guangxu year [i.e. 1902] at the start of summer, Qiu Songsheng of Shanyi(?) respectfully viewed at the Baocanshou Jue studio [i.e. of Liu O, 1850–1912(?)].
All of the following by Di Baoxian (1873–1941):
Outside label: "Zhou Wenju's painting of the men of the Liuli Hall", a genuine work of the divine class, unsurpassed. Treasured in the Pingdengge collection".
Seal: "Pingdengge Cang" (square, relief)
Frontispiece title: "'Zhou Wenju's Painting of the Men of the Liuli Hall', in the divine class"; date and signature in two lines of small semi cursive script: "First month of winter of the year yichou , inscribed by Di Pingzi at the Baoxianan"
Seals: 1. Pingdengge cang (oval, relief- upper right edge)
2. Di Pingzi (square, relief- after signature)
3. Baoxianan (square, intaglio- below second seal)
Two colophons on mounting preceding the painting:
a) Four lines of semi cursive script: "The brushwork of this handscroll is antique and simple, resembling very closely, the painting method of Tang men. Eyebrows and eyes use thick, dark ink and garment lines (?) are like iron wires. People of the Song and later [periods] did not have this painting method. Mr. Luo Shuyün [i.e. Luo Zhenyu (1866–1940]) has a scroll containing only a section of the latter part. One figure holds a brush, another figure leans on a pine. [cf. "Han Huang" Literary Gathering in Peking"]. He regards it as a prized treasure and considers it to be similar to this [scroll]. But they are as different as heaven and earth. This scroll should be established as being the real [masterpiece] without anything comparable [to it]. Early autumn of the year jiazi  Pingzi Di Baoxian".
Seal: Pingzi Oubi (oval, relief)
b) "Ancient calligraphy and painting which one sees nowadays often has an inscription by [the] Xüanhe [Emperor, i.e. Huizong, r. 1100–25]. Although quite similar [to Huizong's writing] in superficial appearance, these [inscriptions] are all forgeries. As for this [scroll], the 14 characters seem full of life and divinely wonderful and elegant refinement resides in their "bones". It is certainly an authentic trace of Daojun [i.e. Huizong], without a doubt. This scroll originally belonged to Liu Tieyun [i.e. Liu O, 1850–1912?]. I remember authenticating it back in the last year of the Qing Emperor Guangxü [i.e. 1908] along with Li Wenshi [i.e. Li Baoxun, 1859–1915] and Wang Zizhan. Their opinions agreed with mine. [Li] Wenshi judged the calligraphy and painting to be equally superb. [Wang] Zizhan also examined and approved the calligraphy as genuine. Now the three gentlemen [i.e. Liu, Li and Wang] have long since passed away becoming 'ancients', just like the men of the Liuli Hall.
Recorded on a winter's day in yizhou  Di Pingzi".
Seal after colophon: Pingdengge Cang (square, relief).
Colophon section mounted after painting:
Colophon in nine lines of running script: "Authentic works by Song and Yuan men extant in the world today are truly as rare as the heavenly phoenix. Most of them [turn out to be] Ming copies. The good ones [i.e. Ming copies] which have had their signatures removed moreover, are not easy to attribute. You must go by how much they fall short of the real thing. Although they cannot attain complete resemblance, some achieve the exterior, others the substance. They may be treasured, along with model rubbings from steles, Song reprints and Song rubbings, which are [all] rare things. Later people relying on these [Ming copies of early paintings] can get a glimpse of the way the ancients used brush and ink, thus their benefit to later people is not insignificant. If copies by Ming men are so precious, how much more so is a genuine work! This handscroll was in the collection of the master of the Baocanshoujue studio, Mr. Liu Tieyun [Liu O, 1850–1912?]. I got it for a huge sum and it entered my painting collection in the Pingdengge. Color is not scant. In 1925 a serious illness struck me and I have not yet recovered. Leaning on my pillow, I inscribed these words and the numerous errors are distressing. Pingzi inscribed in the Pingdengge."
Seals after colophon:
1. Pingdengge cang (square, intaglio)
2. Di Pingzi shang (tall, rectangle)
3. Zhihua gusui (square, intaglio)
Seals on colophon section mounted after painting;
1. Baocanshou juezhai sheng wan wu, (Liu O [1850–1912?]), tall, rectangle relief.
2. Di Pingzi xinshang (Ti Baoxian [1873–1941]), square, relief
3. Bao-?-tang shuhua yin (tall, rectangle relief)
Seals on the painting, itself:
1. (?) (tall, rectangle, intaglio)
2. Neifu Tushu zhiyin (large square, relief) [Northern Song Palace seal, National Palace Museum Signature and Seals, vol. I, p. 39]
3. Chen Zi?...?...bi...?...zhiyin (square, intaglio)
4. (?) (square, relief)