Image (each scroll): 50 3/8 × 10 7/8 in. (128 × 27.6 cm)
Overall with mounting (each scroll): 66 3/4 × 13 1/2 in. (169.5 × 34.3 cm)
Promised Gift of Guanyuan Shanzhuang Collection
Not on view
清 鄧石如 隷書 對聯 絹本
The blocky script type you see here is called clerical script, which evolved as a more efficient alternative to seal script. In clerical script, the complicated structures and twisting lines of seal script are simplified to more manageable forms, written with lines of varying thickness that allow the calligrapher to move the brush more quickly. These changes incidentally meant that calligraphers could inject more individuality into their writing. Though clerical script fell out of common use by the third century, it was revived in the eighteenth century, when scholars like Deng Shiru began to look to the distant past for inspiration.
Poets exchange verses, seeking lasting celebration. Even as the flowers wither, ewers and wine goblets extend eternal harmony.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy—Selections from the Collection of Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang," April 29, 2014–August 17, 2014.