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Ascent to Yangtai Temple

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Period: Tang dynasty (618-907)
Medium: ink on paper
Format: handscroll

Calligrapher(s): Li Bai (701-762)

Dimensions: 38.1 × 28.5 cm

The calligraphy is a poem written by its author Li Bai. 

Before the calligraphic work is a four-character inscription by the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-1795) reading "Qinglian's [Li Bai] Transcendent Brushwork"(Qinglian yihan).

At the upper right corner of the text is the title of the calligraphic piece written in slender gold script (shou jin ti) by the Northern Song emperor Zhao Ji (r. 1101-1125) "Tang Li Taibai's Ascent to Yangtai Temple."

Praised as the "poetry immortal (shi xian)", Li Bai is considered one of the greatest poets of China. This piece is his only extant calligraphy. The strokes are unrestricted at the beginning, and open at the end of each character.

This calligraphy was in the collection of the imperial court in the Xuanhe period (1119-1125). After the founding of the People's Republic, the renowned collector Zhang Boju (1898-1982) donated it to the State Council. In 1958, it was transferred to the Palace Museum.

After the poem are inscriptions and seals by the Song emperor Zhao Ji, the minister Jia Sidao (ca.1213-1275), the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty, Zhang Boju, and other collectors.

Ascent to Yangtai Temple was included in A Compilation of Ink Works (Moyuan huiguan), The Precious Collection of the Stone Moat: the First Edition (Shiqu Baoji Chubian) and other catalogues.

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