Couplet in running script

Artist: Shi Lu 石魯 (1919-1982)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, 20th century
Pair of hanging scrolls; ink on paper
H x W (.1 & .2 - each image): 138.2 x 33.4 cm (54 7/16 x 13 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scrolls (pair)

China, couplet, Modern period (1912 - present), Robert Hatfield Ellsworth collection, running script
Provenance research underway.

Born into a book collector’s family, Feng Yayan adored the Qing dynasty painter Shitao (1642–1707) and the twentieth-century writer Lu Xun (1881–1936), so he changed his name to Shi Lu. He was a talented painter and established his individual style early in his career. Unfortunately, Shi Lu suffered from schizophrenia caused by the political turmoil of the mid-1960s and the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) in China. His tough character and eccentricity can be seen in his unconventional approach to his work. Instead of making an impression from an actual seal, for example, he drew a seal impression with a brush. The two lines are from a famous poem by Lu Xun and read:

With a fierce frown, I could calmly defy a thousand men.
Head bowed, I serve my people like a willing calf.

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