Quatrain by Jia Dao (779-843) in running-standard script


Artist: Shanqi, Prince Su 肅親王善耆 (1866-1922)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, early 20th century
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 128.5 x 31.6 cm (50 9/16 x 12 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Freer Gallery of Art
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, Modern period (1912 - present), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), Robert Hatfield Ellsworth collection, WWII-era provenance

To 1998
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth (born 1929), New York City, to 1998

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Robert Hatfield Ellsworth in 1998 [1]


[1] All Chinese calligraphy in the gift were published in Mr. Ellsworth's Later Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: 1800-1950, vol. 3 (New York: Random House, 1986) (according to Curatorial Note 4, Joseph Chang, May 19, 1998, in the object record).

Previous Owner(s)

Robert Hatfield Ellsworth 1929-2014


Prince Su served the last two Qing dynasty (1644–1911) emperors, Guangxu (reigned 1875–1908) and Xuantong (reigned 1908–11), in both military and civil positions. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty, Prince Su remained loyal to the emperor. His calligraphy is fluent and elegant, as seen in the famous poem by the Tang poet Jia Dao (779–843) he inscribed for a friend:

Asked the boy under the pine
His master is gathering herbs
For sure in this mountain
Somewhere deep in the clouds

Published References
  • 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. 256-261.
  • Robert Hatfield Ellsworth. Later Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: 1800-1950., 1st edition. New York. pp. 304-5, 140.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum