Abstract

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's Illustration to the Second Prose Poem on the Red Cliff, attributed to Qiao Zhongchang, has been long celebrated as a major achievement of early Chinese literati painting. Nevertheless, the lifelike portraiture of Su Shi and the depiction of an actual site, as well as the contemporary colophons, all point to a memorial function for the scroll. The early provenance of this handscroll indicates that Liang Shicheng, the eunuch at Emperor Huizong's court, was the one who commissioned it. The painting bears witness to the appropriation of the Li Gonglin style in the late Northern Song court.

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