Palace Poem by Wang Jian (d. 830?)
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Image: 132 5/8 × 36 3/4 in. (336.9 × 93.3 cm)
Overall with mounting: 148 1/2 × 47 in. (377.2 × 119.4 cm)
Lent by Guanyuan Shanzhuang Collection
明 米萬鍾 草書宮詞 軸 紙本Mi Wanzhong was one of a group of prominent calligraphers of the late Ming dynasty who abandoned studious refinement in favor of bold displays of personal expression. The poem, composed by Wang Jian, a renowned Tang dynasty (618–907) poet, describes a majestic imperial ceremony. Mi transcribed the text in cursive, the most casual script, in which character forms are abbreviated and the calligrapher does not always pause to lift the brush between characters. Using cursive script allowed Mi to move quickly and decisively and to emphasize the power and energy of his movements rather than the finer points of brush and ink.