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Inkstone with a Design of Plum Blossoms and Inscription by Wu Changshi

Wu Changshuo

Asian Art

The calligrapher, seal carver, and painter Wu Changshi is recognized for his skill in developing unique calligraphic styles by integrating past scripts and styles and for applying elements of the calligraphic tradition to his paintings. His plum blossoms often represent a convergence of the calligraphic and the pictorial. Here the engraved inscription and carved design of a flowering plum blossom share a common seal script heritage through the emphasis on a strong linear component. The inscription reads, "The words and fate of a gentleman are like those of a king."

MEDIUM Stone relief
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES 1909
    DYNASTY Qing Dynasty
    DIMENSIONS 1 1/4 x 7 3/4 x 7 3/4 in. (3.2 x 19.7 x 19.7 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS On the back of the stone is an inscription of seven characters in large seal script reading "Yan ming jun zi qi ru wang" followed by the artist's signature and the date in small characters, reading "Yi you er yue jiu ri / Changshi Wu Jun" (Yi you year, i. e. 1909, 2nd month, 9th day, Wu Changshi)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1996.119
    CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by Dr. and Mrs. Richard A. Dickes and Roger and Carolyn in memory of Jeffrey Frank Wacks and Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Wu Changshuo (Chinese, 1844-1927). Inkstone with a Design of Plum Blossoms and Inscription by Wu Changshi, 1909. Stone relief, 1 1/4 x 7 3/4 x 7 3/4 in. (3.2 x 19.7 x 19.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Dr. and Mrs. Richard A. Dickes and Roger and Carolyn in memory of Jeffrey Frank Wacks and Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, 1996.119. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE back, CUR.1996.119_back2_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A Chinese scholar's inkstone roughly oval in shape, of stone type to be determined, varying in color from a deep red-green to gray-green with occasional veins of warm white, the inkstone formed from a section of a natural boulder, retaining in general the contour of the original stone as the shape of the inkstone. The ink grinding surface has an oval reservoir at the top, the surface surrounded by a slightly raised ridge and sloping almost imperceptibly to the center. On the back of the stone is a design of flowering plum blossoms and an inscription of seven characters of large seal script reading 'Yan ming junzi qi ru wang' followed by the artist's signature and date in small characters, reading ' Yiyou eryue jiuri/ Changshi Wu Jun'
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (87%)
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    Inkstone with a Design of Plum Blossoms and Inscription by Wu Changshi