Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) , (Chinese, 1899-1983)
Ink on paper
W: 71.5 cm
Gift of the Estate of Wang Chi-yuan S1991.154
By the time Chang painted this image at the age of sixty-six, his reputation for giving away self-portraits was legendary. Since he almost always complied with friends'requests, many of his late portraits are quick and casual. Chang graced this one with a poem to his artist-friend Wang Chi-yuan (Wang Ji Yuan; 1895-1975), which recognizes how portraits bring near those who are distant:
My years look toward seventy and you're already there,
Matched as mortar and pestle, friends for forty years . . .
I've drawn my dusty visage to hang on your study wall,
That we whitebeards may see each other and take cheer.
Translation by Stephen D. Allee