Couplet in cursive script

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    mid-late 15th century
  • Geography

  • Material

    Ink on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W: 183.4 x 91.5 cm (72 3/16 x 36 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Artist

    Chen Xianzhang ( 1428-1500)
  • Description

    Poem of fourteen characters in ink on paper. Signature of two characters. One seal. Part of original paper missing at lower left corner, the rest worn and cracked. Panel.
  • Inscriptions

    The inscription written in ts'ao shu [chn], or "grass" writing, is a poetic couplet composed of two seven-character lines which run:
    "Wherever the light of body tread on the steaming mist There are the countless years of the pine pitch at Stone Cave."
  • Provenance

    To 1945
    Mrs. Edith Drake, Chicago, Illinois. [1]
    American-Chinese Committee of the Mass Education Movement, Chicago, Illinois. [2]
    From 1945
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from the American-Chinese Committee of the Mass Education Movement, Chicago, Illinois. [3]
    [1] See object file. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920, “owned by Mrs. Drake Tonying acted as agent”.
    [2] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.
    [3] See note 1.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Untitled Exhibition, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 1947 (January 7, 1947 to April 11, 1955)
    Special Exhibition, Chinese Art, 1946 (August 7, 1946 to January 7, 1947)
    Stone Sculpture, Buddhist Bronze, and Chinese Painting (May 2, 1923 to February 25, 1956)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Mrs. Edith L. Drake
    American-Chinese Committee of the Mass Education Movement (Founded 1920s)
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring