Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Portrait of Bi Shichang, from the set Five Old Men of Suiyang, before 1056
    Unidentified Artist (11th century)
    China
    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 script—a 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.

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  • Portrait of Bi Shichang, from the set Five Old Men of Suiyang, before 1056
    Unidentified Artist (11th century)
    China
    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)

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