Excerpt from the “Preface to the Sacred Teachings” in running-standard script

Artist: Bada Shanren 八大山人 (朱耷) (1626-1705)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, ca. 1693
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 26.5 x 14.3 cm (10 7/16 x 5 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Calligraphy

Album leaf

China, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), Shao F. Wang collection, standard script

To 1997
Wang Fangyu (1913-1997), to 1997 [1]

To 1998
Shao F. Wang, New York and Short Hills, NJ, by descent, to 1998

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Shao F. Wang in 1998


[1] According to Curatorial Note 3, Joseph Chang and Stephen D. Allee, May 7, 1998, and Joseph Chang and Stephen D. Allee, August 18, 1998, in the object record.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Shao F. Wang
Wang Fangyu 1913-1997


This text is an excerpt from the Sanzang shengjiao xu (Preface to the sacred teachings [translated] by Tripitaka), composed in 648 by Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty (reigned 626-49) for the Buddhist monk and translator Xuanzang (602-664), also known as Tripitaka.

Under Taizong's successor, a stone monument was erected bearing his preface written in standard script by the eminent court calligrapher Chu Suiliang (596-658). Chu's transcription of the preface became part of the mainstream calligraphic tradition and was frequently emulated over the centuries as an orthodox model of standard script. Although Bada asserts in his postscript that he was "copying" the style of Chu Suiliang, his use of running-standard script, instead of the traditional form of standard script established by Chu, adds a measure of idiosyncracy to his rendition. Bada wrote out this Buddhist text on several occasions, each time employing his own style of calligraphy.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 244-251, 262.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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