Epitaph of Mu Shao (480-531) in standard script

Historical period(s)
Northern Wei dynasty, inscription: 531; rubbing: 20th century
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 103.2 x 99.6 cm (40 5/8 x 39 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Peking University
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Calligraphy, Rubbing

Rubbing (mounted on panel)

China, epitaph, funerary, Period of Division (220 - 589), standard script

To ?
Peking University, Beijing, China. [1]

From 1976
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Peking University, Beijing, China. [2]


[1] According to the Curatorial Remark 4 in the object record, this rubbing was donated by Peking University, Beijing, China at an undetermined date.

[2] According to Kate Theimer’s note from June 6, 1995, “This rubbing appears to have been given by the Peking University to the Freer Gallery of Art at an undetermined date prior to 1976. It was transferred from the Library to the permanent collection in 1976.” Also see object file, and the Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Peking University


At the time of his death Mu Shao (480–531), a native of Luoyang, Henan, was the governor of Jizhou, one of the nine divisions of ancient China. (Jizhou included modern Hebei in Shanxi province as well as parts of Henan and Manchuria.) By Chinese count, Mu Shao died at the age of fifty-two on the thirteenth day of the ninth lunar month in 531 and was buried later on the twenty-fourth day of the tenth lunar month (October 9), when this epitaph was mostly likely carved into stone. Weibei, the form of standard script used to carve text into stone surfaces during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534), is generally characterized by the angular beginning, turns, and end of each stroke.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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