Like many talented men, Wang Zhideng failed to gain an official appointment but, after the death of Wen Zhengming (1470–1559), he became the most renowned poet of his time and presided over Suzhou literary circles for the last thirty years of his life.
A respected calligrapher, this piece preserves the opening section of Wang's essay "Cave among Mountains and Waters," which describes the scripture study room of the Yunyin Monastery near Suzhou. Wang most likely composed this work at the request of the monastery's abbot or patrons, a common practice for literary and artistic luminaries. His refined and relaxed calligraphy, modeled after Wen Zhengming's running-standard script style, suitably complements the lighthearted tone of his prose.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (13 columns in semi-cursive script)