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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Elizabeth Mann



Shen Yinmo

Chinese, 1883-1971

The couplet was written for Chang Ch'ung-ho in 1942 when they met in Chongqing, the temporary site of the Chinese capital during the Sino-Japanese war (1937-45). This couplet comprises excerpts from two fifth-century poems, which were composed by Xie Lingyun (385-433) and Xie Tiao (464-499). The poems allude to the departure from the mundane world through captivating imagery of nature. Xie Lingyun's excerpt reads, "Begin with playing the Yanlu song [a folk song], one chats late into the evening." And the verse by Xie Tiao: "With wine by the pond, one listens to the qin-zither in the wind." Influenced by the classical traditions of calligraphy, Shen demonstrates exceptional precision and care in the execution of strokes and character structures. This example is among the best couplets in regular script.

Ink on paper
Dimensions overall: 139.2 cm (h) x 24.3 cm (w)
Dimensions of Painted Image: 103 cm (h) x 18 cm (w)
Gift of Chang Ch'ung-ho and Hans Frankel from their collection
Provenance: Ch'ung-ho Chang Frankel, New Haven, CT, to 2009
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China, Dec. 24, 2016 - May 15, 2022 [on view Jan. 8 - Sept. 20, 2020].
Published ReferencesC.f., Shanghai Calligraphers Association, ed, Haipai daibiao shufajia xilie zuopin ji--Shen Yinmo (Shanghai: Shanghai Shuhua chubanshe, 2006)

Chen, Guannan. “Xiyatu yishu bowuguan cang zhang chong he shuji ji shou canh ju ou.” Shu Yu Hua Volume 9, no. 276 (September 2015): p. 22-31, reproduced p. 24.

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