Epigraphic and Pictorial Rubbings

Lanting Xiuxi Tu (Illustration of the Spring Purification Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion)

Original composition by Li Gonglin; copied by Zhu Youdun. Engraved in the 15th year of Yongle Period (1417), Ming Dynasty. Rubbing of Qing Dynasty.

The "Orchid Pavilion Preface" (Lanting Xu) written by the Eastern Jin literatus Wang Xizhi in the mid-4th century has long commanded its canonical status as a prime example of fine Chinese calligraphy. The Lanting Xiuxi Tu portrays the graceful scene at the Orchid Pavilion (Lanting) at Huixi Shanyin where Wang and 41 friends and family members met together for a Xiuxi gathering in the 9th year of Yong He Period (353). It is known as one of the "Lanting" compendia which was inspired by Wang's preface and the gathering event. The pictorial section of this hand scroll is also notable for the two-tone technique in which the rubbing was made.