Mi Fu / Poem Written in a Boat on the Wu River / Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), ca. 1100Mi Fu
Poem Written in a Boat on the Wu River
Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), ca. 1100

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Creator Name: Mi, Fu
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Dates/Places: Chinese, 1052-1107
Creator Name-CRT: Mi Fu
Title: Poem Written in a Boat on the Wu River
View: Detail
Creation Start Date: 1080
Creation End Date: 1107
Creation Date: Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), ca. 1100
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Calligraphy
Materials and Techniques: handscroll; ink on paper
Dimensions: 12 1/4 in. x 18 ft. 3 1/4 in. (31.1 x 557 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1984.174
Credit Line: Gift of John M. Crawford Jr., in honor of Professor Wen Fong, 1984
Rights: http://www.metmuseum.org/

Sun Guoting (648?-703?) stated in his Manual on Calligraphy that calligraphy reveals the character and expresses the emotions of the writer. Few works demonstrate this principle as clearly as this handscroll by Mi Fu, the leading late Northern Song calligrapher. Mi wrote Poem Written on the Wu River with a suspended arm, working from the elbow rather than the wrist. The brush moves lightly, changing pressure within each stroke; the size of the individual characters, the thickness of the brushstrokes, and the amount of ink used vary dramatically from column to column. His aim was not to form perfect individual characters; instead he entrusted his writing to the force of the brush-giving full reign to idiosyncratic movements, collapsing and distorting the forms of the characters for the sake of expressiveness. Su Shi (1036-1101) described Mi's writing style as a 'sailboat in a gust of wind or a war-horse charging into battle.'

AMICA ID: MMA_.1984.174
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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