Unidentified Artist (11th century)
Album leaf; ink and color on silk
15 3/4 x 12 5/8 in. (40 x 32.1 cm)
Inscribed: "Bi Shichang, retired President of the Board of Revenue, ninety-four years of age"
Rogers Fund, 1917 (17.170.1)
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 garments reflects the Tang-dynasty conventions of official portraiture and a conservatism appropriate to the subject. Equally formal is the inscription written in regular scripta style also used for stelae 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.