Poem by Du Fu in running-standard script

Artist: Bada Shanren 八大山人 (朱耷) (1626-1705)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, ca. 1697
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 26.1 x 19.2 cm (10 1/4 x 7 9/16 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.
Shao F. Wang collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Calligraphy

Album leaf

China, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), Shao F. Wang collection, WWII-era provenance

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)

Shao F. Wang
Wang Fangyu 1913-1997


Song Playfully Inscribed on a Landscape Painting by Wang Zai by Du Fu (712-770).

Ten days to paint a river
five days to paint a rock,
An expert does not suffer feeling pressed or hurried
Wang Zai must approve before he leaves a mark behind.
How mighty, this landscape from the Kunlun to Fanghu,
That hangs upon the whitened wall of your lofty hall.
From Baling along Dongting Lake to east of far Japan,
The river passes Red Bluff to join the Silver Stream:
In the middle, dragons fly among the clouds and mist,
Fishermen and boatmen pull in to riverbank and shore,
Mountain trees are flattened by huge billows of wind.
No one from the past equals him in painting distance,
Just a foot must correspond to, say ten-thousand li,
If I could get a pair of sharpened Bingzhou scissors,
I'd slice off a half of Wusong Creek to take along.

Translation by Stephen D. Allee

Published References
  • Joseph Chang, Quianshen Bai, Catalogue by Stephen Allee. In Pursuit of Heavenly Harmony: Paintings and Calligraphy by Bada Shanren from the Bequest of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 16, p. 86-87.
  • 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
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum