Asian Art
Artist: Wu Changshuo, Chinese, 1844–1927

Calligraphy in Stone Drum Script (Shiguwen)

late 19th–early 20th century

Handscroll: ink on paper

with mounting: 13 in. (33.02 cm)
without mounting: 12 1/2 × 52 3/4 in. (31.75 × 133.99 cm)
Collection of H. Christopher Luce, B.A. 1972

Born in a small town in Zhejiang Province, Wu Changshou began composing poems and carving seals, an art that required both manual dexterity and a keen sense of composition, at the age of ten and became president of the Xiling Seal Art Society in 1913. Wu was particularly fascinated with the famed stone drum inscriptions, poems or songs recording hunting expeditions that were carved on ten stone boulders during the Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.E.) and record an early form of writing known as the “stone drum” script of shiguwen. Widely known through rubbings, the Stone Drum Inscriptions have been the focus of much study and discussion since the eighteenth century. In addition to his many works of calligraphy in this style of writing, in which he often cited these inscriptions, or sections of them, he also composed poems based on these texts.

On view
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

H. Christopher Luce, New York; given to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2017


“Acquisitions July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018,” (accessed December 1, 2018).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.