Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Poem of Farewell to Liu Man, Song dynasty (960–1279), 12th century
    Yelü Chucai (Chinese, 1190–1244)
    Handscroll; ink on paper; 21 columns in regular script; 14 3/ 8 x 108 1/8 in. (36.5 x 274.6 cm)
    Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988 (1989.363.17)

    Yelü Chucai, a descendant of the ruling family of the Khitan Liao dynasty (907–1125), was a prominent statesman under the Mongol khans. This poem, his only extant autograph, shows boldly angular characters written in a simple yet imposing style. The blunt monumental calligraphy recalls that of another eminent statesman, Yan Zhenqing (709–785), who wrote as though "inscribing stone with a stylus."

    This poem is a plea for humanitarian rule. It ends with the admonition: "Despotic officials and shyster underofficials, may they feel ashamed!"

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  • Poem of Farewell to Liu Man, Song dynasty (960–1279), 12th century
    Yelü Chucai (Chinese, 1190–1244)
    Handscroll; ink on paper; 21 columns in regular script; 14 3/ 8 x 108 1/8 in. (36.5 x 274.6 cm)
    Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988 (1989.363.17)

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