Skip to content

Collection

All

Search

Asian art

View More:


Title

Couplet

1644-1911


Artist

Unknown

China


About

The couplet, written on two narrow pieces of paper or silk, and hung on either side of a large painting or doorway, is one of the most common forms of calligraphic art. The couplets themselves are either taken from Tang and Song poetry or contemporary literary works composed by the calligraphers themselves and their friends.

A couplet is made up of two parts called the head and the tail. In this example, the head reads, "Wandie yunshan mojie hua (Myriad clouded peaks look like a painting by Mojie [Wang Wei, 699-759, a renowned painter and poet of the Tang dynasty])", and the tail reads, "Sishi huaniao duling shi (The flowers and birds of four seasons sound as a poem by Du Fu [712-770, one of the greatest poets of the Tang dynasty)". An inscription is seen on the lower left side of the tail, which reads, "Jiecheng Tianzhihe (Tian Zhimei, alia Jiecheng)". Two seals follow the inscription: "Jiecheng Tian Zhimei (Tian Zhimei, alia Jiecheng)", and "Rencheng hanlin (A member of the Imperial Hanlin Academy in the year of 'rencheng')". It is apparent that the calligrapher of the couplet was a scholar official who served at the time in the highest imperial scholarly institute, the Hanlin Academy during the Qing dynasty. Due to the lack of information, however, the exact date of the year of 'rencheng' is not clear at the moment. It could be dated 1652, 1712, 1772, 1832, and 1892.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2001


Details


Place where the work was made

China


Date

1644-1911


Media category

Calligraphy


Materials used

ink on paper


Dimensions

a - right scolll - head; 130 x 29.8 cm

b - left scroll - tail; 130 x 29.8 cm


Signature & date

Signed c.l., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink "…Jiecheng Tianzhihe (Tian Zhimei, alia Jiecheng)". Not dated. Signed l.l., in Chinese, stamped in red ink, "Jiecheng Tianzhimei (Tian Zhimei, alia Jiecheng) [artist's seals]".


Credit

Gift of Richard Clough 2001


Location

Not on display


Accession number

400.2001.a-b


Artist information

Unknown

Works in the collection

58


Place

Where the work was made
China