Hanging scroll, ink on paper


  • Luo Zhenyu, Calligraphy in Oracle Bone Script
  • Luo Zhenyu (Artist)
  • 羅 振玉 (Artist)
Date Created
Resource Type
  • Image
  • Identifier
    • Identifier Type
      Locally defined identifier
      Identifier Value
      Collection of Phoenix Art Museum. Gift of Jeannette Shambaugh Elliott. 1996.166
    • Dimension: calligraphy 66 x 34 cm; mounting 168 x 50.5 cm
    • Inscription: 景頑仁兄屬口殷虛貞卜遺文即希是之。辛未端陽貞松羅振玉書於遼東 寓居。 Transaltion: For dear friend Jingwan, these are the divination writings from Yin. In the year of xinwei (1931), duanyang (Dragon Boat Festival), Zhensong (alternate name), Luo Zhenyu writing at home in Liaodong.
    • Luo Zhenyu (1866-1940, alternative name 雪堂) was a native of Shangyu, Zhejiang province. Luo Zhenyu was the most prominent archeologist and scholar who collected and studied oracle bone script. With his diligent research on the excavated oracle bones and ancient Chinese history records, Luo Zhenyu proved that Yin was the capital city of the Shang dynasty, which is located in Henan province and known as today Anyang. His major research on oracle bone script and early Chinese history was published in Yinshang zhenbu wenzi kao 殷商貞卜文字考, Yinxu shuqi kaoshi 殷墟書契考釋, and Zengding yinxu shuqi kaoshi 增訂殷墟書契考釋. Relying on his rich knowledge on oracle bone script and epigraphy, Luo Zhenyu created many couplets and calligraphic works by collecting characters from oracle bone writings. This started an innovative direction in Chinese calligraphy creation. This piece of calligraphy is very unusual because Luo Zhenyu composed this long essay in which all the characters are originally from the oracle bone found at An’yang. By mimicking the writing carved on tortoiseshell or animal bones, Luo Zhenyu wrote each stroke by using the brush evenly, straight, and smooth. This approach of employing the brush is distinct from other type styles of Chinese calligraphy writing, which often emphasizes on creating changes and varieties by using different parts of brush. The essay looks very neat because of the delicate square shape of all the characters as well as the elaborate organization. The content of the essay has not yet been identified.. It was written for one of Luo Zhenyu’s friend, Jinwan, during the Dragon Boat Festival. The festival is a traditional Chinese holiday to commemorate Qu Yuan (340-278 BC), a famous literatus and politician during the Warring States period. Reference Luo Zhenyu. Yinxu shuqi kaoshi sanzhong 殷虛書契考釋三種 Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2005. Zhongguo shufa jianshang dacidian 中國書法鑑賞大辭典 Beijing: Dadi chuban she, 1989.

    Citation and reuse

    International Image Interoperability Framework

    Copy link

    Machine-readable links