Wang Ao Chinese

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Wang Ao was a gifted scholar from Suzhou who rose to become a Grand Secretary, one of the most prominent posts in the imperial bureaucracy. The text of this letter is decorous but light on content; mostly it is taken up with expressions of gratitude for previous letters and apologies for missing a chance to meet in person. Although the letter is perfunctory, the luxurious hydrangea-print stationery and the sinuous brushwork from a famous hand made this an object worth treasuring.

Letter, Wang Ao (Chinese, 1450–1524), Album leaf; ink on patterned paper, China

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