Seal of Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997): Kuhuang sheng


Artist: Wu Zijian (born 1947)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, 1971
H x W x D (overall): 1.7 x 1.6 x 3.2 cm (11/16 x 5/8 x 1 1/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of the Xie Family
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Stone, Tool and Equipment

Seal (square intaglio)

China, Modern period (1912 - present), seal

From 1971 to 1997
Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997), commissioned carving from Wu Zijian in 1971 [1]

From 1997 to 1998
Chen Peiqiu (born 1922), widow of Xie Zhiliu [2]

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Chen Peiqiu in 1998 [3]


[1] Curatorial Remarks, Joseph Chang, May 1, 1998.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Chen Peiqiu born 1922
Xie Zhiliu 1910-1997


About the Seal Carver Wu Zijian:

This seal (as well as F1998.76.44 and F1998.76.46) was selected from a group of 113 personal seals created for the late artist and scholar Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997) by his protégé the seal carver Wu Zijian (born 1947). Aside from a pair of seals giving Xie's name, each of the seals on display relates to one of the "three friends of winter," which were among Xie's favorite subjects for painting. Xie Ziliu once wrote admiringly of his younger friend:

"[Wu] Zijian has a deep passion for seal carving. . . There is no form of writing on metal and stone, on either official or private seals, that he has not gathered and collected from far and wide and subjected to rigorous analysis. . . When carving a seal, Zijian does not first write the text on the surface of the stone [as other carvers do], but sets directly to carving it with his knife. . . I have searched through all the earlier masters and no one before has done anything like this, so an ability such as his must truly be hard to achieve."

(Translation by Stephen D. Allee)

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. 264-267.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with artist