Transcription of Shang dynasty oracle inscriptions

Artist: Dong Zuobin (1895-1963)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, 1946
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
H x W (image): 109.7 x 30.7 cm (43 3/16 x 12 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Tung Tso-pin (Dong Zuobin)
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, Modern period (1912 - present)

From 1946
Freer Gallery of Art, given by the artist, Dong Zuobin (1895-1963) in 1946 [1]


[1] The artist presented the object to the Freer Gallery of Art during a visit to the United States in 1946 (see Curatorial Note 2, Fu Shen, 1980, in the object record).

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Dong Zuobin 1895-1963


Dong Zuobin was one of the leading Chinese scholars who participated in official excavations at Anyang, Henan province, the site of the last capital of the Shang dynasty (circa 1600–circa 1046 BCE). He devoted most of his career to studying oracle-bone inscriptions. On this scroll he imitated the characters found on a piece from the era of Wu Ding, who reigned from circa 1250 to 1192 BCE. The sharp, pointed ends of the brushstrokes imitate the carved strokes on the oracle bone. Dong Zuobin presented this scroll to the Freer Gallery of Art during a visit to Washington, D.C., on September 9, 1947.

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