Art/ Collection/ Art Object

近代 黃山壽 仙女圖 軸
An Immortal Lady

Huang Shanshou (Chinese, 1855–1919)
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
dated 1882
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
36 7/8 x 17 1/4 in. (93.7 x 43.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986
Accession Number:
Not on view
Signature: Xuzhu Huan Shanshou painted at Siming Studio
Dated spring 1882

Artist's seals: 1. Xuqu (square red characters)
2. Shanshou (square, white characters)

Artist's inscription:
Wu Cailuan was purported to be a female Immortal of the Tang dynasty who wrote "Tang Prosody" at Ziji Palace in Hongzhou. The writing Prosody Studio still exists and is well known. She also wrote Fayuan zhulin [Buddhist Tales] on one hundred twenty hanging scrolls at Anfu Sansheng Temple. Only a few people know of this set. In addition, in Yingxiang Temple, Daojiang Sizhuan there are sixty volumes of Buddhist sutras written by Wu Cailuan. Most of them include imperial taboos of the Tang period. Luo Fangweng [Luo You, 1125–1210] also mentions this. In the Youtangjia hua it is recorded that the Immortal also wrote prosody in Longlin [dragon scale] regular script in the eighth year of Tianbao reign [749]. At the end of her thesis, Liu Chengxuan [Liu Gongchuan, 778–865] attached a colophon saying "Wu Cailuan was a professed Immortal who wrote the Tang Prosody in one night and then sold it on the market. People did not understand its meaning. I had heard this story and looked for the book for many years. Finally I found it. It is full of archaic spirit and the brushstroke is powerful and natural. Neither ancient nor contemporary scholars could equal it. On the 15th day of the 9th month of the 9th hear of Taihe reign [835] I wrote this colophon to the Prosody album of fifty-four leaves. Each leaf is mounted with a border." Dedicated to Luo Shan.

Marking: Collectors' seals: Robert Hatfield Ellsworth (two)
Robert H. Ellsworth , New York (until 1986; donated to MMA)
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