Quatrain by Jia Dao (779-843) in running-standard script

Artist: Shanqi, Prince Su 肅親王善耆 (1866-1922)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, early 20th century
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 128.5 x 31.6 cm (50 9/16 x 12 7/16 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 scroll

China, Modern period (1912 - present), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), Robert Hatfield Ellsworth collection

To 1998
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth (born 1929), New York City, to 1998

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Robert Hatfield Ellsworth in 1998 [1]


[1] All Chinese calligraphy in the gift were published in Mr. Ellsworth's Later Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: 1800-1950, vol. 3 (New York: Random House, 1986) (according to Curatorial Note 4, Joseph Chang, May 19, 1998, in the object record).

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Robert Hatfield Ellsworth 1929-2014


Prince Su served the last two Qing dynasty (1644–1911) emperors, Guangxu (reigned 1875–1908) and Xuantong (reigned 1908–11), in both military and civil positions. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty, Prince Su remained loyal to the emperor. His calligraphy is fluent and elegant, as seen in the famous poem by the Tang poet Jia Dao (779–843) he inscribed for a friend:

Asked the boy under the pine
His master is gathering herbs
For sure in this mountain
Somewhere deep in the clouds

Published References
  • Robert Hatfield Ellsworth. Later Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: 1800-1950., 1st ed. New York. vols. 1, 3: pp. 304-5, 140.
  • 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. 256-261.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.