VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Youjun (Wang Xi-zhi) exchanging his calligraphy for geese
6594 I
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History of the Object
Wang Zhen, also known as Wang Yi-ting, was a famous artist and calligrapher. He worked in Shanghai, drawing flowers and fruits, animals and birds, and limning portraits and compositions after Buddhist subjects. He was particularly popular in Japan. The scroll from the museum’s collection depicts Wang Xi-zhi and a boy servant with a goose in his hands. Author’s writing and signature reads: “Youjun wrote in exchange for geese. Affection turned to irrepressible passion. Each time would be sent as offering. Watches the boy servant, does he palms / geese/ diligently. In the first spring month of the year geng-jia/1920/ Bailong-shanren Wang zhen”. Wang Xi-zhi (321-379 or 303-361) was a great calligrapher of ancient China. Having studied different styles of his predecessors and employing all the best from their achievements, he created calligraphic writings, perfect in their way and of great influence over the subsequent development of this art form in China. Traditional literature names Wang Xi-zhi first among calligraphers, this being the reason why he is sometimes called shu sheng (the divine calligrapher). The works of Wang Xi-zhi are known to us only from numerous copies, first of all from the texts rubbed from the stone engravings believed to be accurate copies of original works. Serving as military officer of general’s rank Wang Xi-zhi chose rather to spend time in recluse alfresco or in conversation with his friends literati. During one of these conversations he said: “Years of life under mulberry and elm trees revealed me the meaning of naturalness”. On a boarder scale, he became a quasilegendary personage, and some accounts about incidents from his life inspired Chenese artists. Most often he was portrayed watching the geese and cranes, for he found resemblance between the elegant toutnures of their necks and movements of calligrapher’s brush.

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Type
Calligraphy 
Materials
Ink on paper 
Measurements
148,5x47,5 cm 
Creator name
Wang Zhen (Wang Yi-ting) 
Creator date
1866 - 1938 
Where it was made
 
Geography
 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
 
Function
 
Acquisition
 
Copyright
The State Museum of Oriental Art (Moscow) 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
The State Museum of Oriental Art 
Museum
The State Museum of Oriental Art 
Credit line
 

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