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.