Hanging scroll, ink on paper

Included in this item (3)


  • He Shaoji, Calligraphy in Clerical Script
Date Created
  • Identifier Type
    Locally defined identifier
    Identifier Value
    Collection of Phoenix Art Museum. Gift of Jeannette Shambaugh Elliott. 1986.17
  • Dimension: calligraphy 131.8 x 61.9 cm; mounting 223 x 76.2 cm
  • Calligraphy: 夒府孤城落日斜,每依南斗望京華。聽蝯實下三聲淚,奉使湏隨八月查。
  • Inscription: 古詩竟不可卒讀。乙丑九月兩窗偶書。 Translation: After all, I cannot read all the poems. Written by the window, in a rainy day in September, 1865 (Yichou).
  • Artist's Seals: 何紹基印 Seal of He Shaoji, 子貞 Zizhen.
  • Collector's Seal: 習是齋藏天隨閣遺箧珍品 and two more collector's seals.
  • He Shaoji (1799-1873, alternative name, Zizhen 子貞) is a scholar, calligrapher, and poet of the Qing Dynasty. He once served as a college supervisor and chairman of the Board of Examiners of local government examinations. When he started practicing calligraphy, He Shaoji studied the calligraphy of Yan Zhenqing (709-785). In addition, he was particularly interested in the clerical script engraved on the stone tablet from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). For example, the famous stele Zhang Qian Bei 張遷碑 (created in 186), was one of He Shaoji’s favorite models. Besides learning from stone tablet, He Shaoji copied numerous rubbings made from the Han period. As a result, He Shaoji’s calligraphy work usually presents a similar style to the clerical script from the Han, such as the square structure, the angular beginning of many strokes, and pointed endings. In this example, He Shaoji executed the poem on the hanging scroll elegantly. The artist employed the pointed ending and wavelike flaring of strokes. The composition of the characters shows a rich and well-conceived variety. The entire piece creates a refined subtlety.

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