The Flower Garland Sutra
- Anonymous, Northern Wei dynasty
The creatorship and dates of this scroll are unknown, but according to a colophon inscribed on its mounting by Zeng Xi (1861-1930), it is a specimen of Northern Wei dynasty calligraphy, formerly held in the collection of Xiang Shen (1864-1928). Comprising over six thousand six hundred characters, its scribe wrote the entire piece with unwavering stylistic consistency. The structuring and spacing of the brushwork is verifiably consistent with that seen in calligraphy engraved upon steles
Xiang Shen, who had the style name Legu and the sobriquet Baoshuzi, was a native of Hengshan county in Hunan province. He and Zeng Xi were close friends and confidants, and their families were linked through marriage. In his later years he supported himself by working as a painter and calligrapher in Shanghai. This scroll was donated to the NPM by Madam Hsiang Li-lan.
Longevity Lasting One Hundred and Twenty Years
- Luo Tingxi, Qing dynasty
This painting presents a massive cypress seeming almost to brace sky, with two large stones beside its trunk. These elements are a play on the Chinese pronunciation of “one hundred twenty years”—“a cypress” rhymes with “one hundred,” while “two stones” rhymes with “twenty.” The roots of the cypress are embellished with colorfully painted lingzhi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum), which are also a symbol of longevity, and help fill the painting with tidings of long life and good fortune. This work’s origins can be glimpsed in its stylistically similarity to another painting, “Tree of Auspiciousness” by Wang Youxue (fl. 18th century). Luo Tingxi left scarce few historical traces; according to his own signature, he was a native of Jinling (present day Nanjing). Art history research points to him having likely been active in the Jiaqing through Daoguang (1796-1850) reign periods.
|Rubbing of the King Hotae Stele||Anonymous||Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BCE-668 CE), Korea|
|Rubbing of The Classic of Filial Piety in Stone||Emperor Xuanzong (685-762)||Tang dynasty|
|Copy of the King Hotae Stele||Chuang Yen (1899-1980)||Republican period|
|Layers of Mountains and Waters||Chang Kuang-pin||Republican period|
|Precipitous Peaks and Layered Hills||Chang Kuang-pin||Republican period|