skip to Main Content

. . . is for Shao

Shao Mi (1592?-1642), Chinese
“The Filial Liu Mourning his Parents” 1631

Handscroll, ink on paper
28 x 87.5 cm. (11 x 34 1/2 in.)

“During the year 1631 of the Chongzhen reign-era, Shao Mi of Changzhou (Suzhou) painted this ‘Dwelling by the Grave’ picture for the filial son Liu Shuyu while at Guazhou.”

Artist’s seals:
Guazhou; Shao Mi siyin; Sengmi

Collectors’ seals:
Xiaoshi baocang; Yu Yuanfu zhencang yin

Zhang Dayong: Ziyi yuezhai shuhualu (1832), ch. 9, pp. 25-26

The practice of mourning one’s parents or teacher by attending them at their grave is known already from the time of Confucius. The figure in the present painting would be the filial Liu, who commissioned the painting to record his exemplary behavior.

Shao Mi was characterized by an early biographer as “a recluse. His poetry and painting were highly prized by the people of Wu (Suzhou) but he lived in seclusion at Guazhou and called himself ‘The Old Man of Guazhou.” Something of the refined and fastidious nature of the man himself is suggested by the visual characteristics of the brushwork of the present painting.

Back To Top