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Robert Hatfield Ellsworth 1929-2014
Have Xie Yuan teach literature, Lei Cizong teach
Confucianism, and He Shangzhi teach metaphysics;
Listen to Liu Xian lecture on ritual propriety,
Gu Ce lecture on the Book of Changes, and Zhu
Guangzhi lecture on Daoism.
Translation by Stephen D. Allee
Zhang Sirui constructed this couplet from two different passages in the official History of the Southern Dynasties, which covers the period from 420 to 589. He adapted the text on the right scroll from passages in the Annals of the Liu-Song Dynasty concerning imperially sponsored schools under Emperor Wen (reigned 424-453 C.E.), and directly quoted the text on the left scroll from a passage that recounts the educational pastimes of Xiao Ying, Prince of Linchuan (458-489 c.e.). Each of the six men named in the couplet was a leading figure in his respective discipline.
Using a powerful, squarish form of ancient seal script, the calligrapher Zhang Sirui successfully achieved an illusion of vertical mass and solidity that resembles two intricately carved columns. He then created a kind of pedestal at the bottom of each column by using a strongly contrasting form of standard script to record the source of the quotations (right scroll) and his signature (left scroll).
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
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