An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Daguanlu 大觀錄

Apr 5, 2023 © Ulrich Theobald

Daguanlu 大觀錄 "Great overview [of calligraphy and painting]", also called Wushi shuhua ji 吳氏書畫記, is a book on painting and calligraphy compiled during the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Wu Sheng 吳升 (fl. 1712), courtesy name Zimin 子敏, from Wujun 吳郡 (Wuxian 吳縣, Jiangsu).

The book of 20 juan length was finished in 1712. It is divided into two parts, the first of which (1-9) discusses calligraphic artworks, and the second one paintings, both through the ages, beginning with the Jin period. Fascicle 10 (Yuan-Ming xian shihan xingshi 元明賢詩翰姓氏) is a collection of short biographies of artists from the Yuan 元 (1279-1368) and Ming 明 (1368-1644) periods. Some fascicles are dedicated to certain groups of painters, or individuals, like ch. 16 that exclusively includes works of Zhao Mengfu 趙孟頫 (1254-1322), or ch. 20, which is dedicated to the creations of the Ming-period painters Shen Zhou 沈周 (1427-1509), Tang Yin 唐寅 (1470-1524), Wen Zhengming 文徵明 (1470-1559), and Qiu Ying 仇英 (c. 1494-1552). Wu Sheng had observed and admired the largest part of artworks with his own eyes, and is thus a reliable source. For all Ming-period artworks, he provides the type and dimension of the paper or silk, but only notes the length of calligraphies (number of characters), and the texts. For paintings, information is provided as to the genre, design, and inscriptions (kuanzhi 款識) and notes (ti-ba 題跋), but Wu Sheng also provides qualitative assessments. No information is given as to seal imprints (yinji 印記) of owners.

Qi Tinggui 戚廷貴, Liu Xiaoyan 劉孝嚴, Tang Shufan 唐樹凡, eds. (1992). Dong-xifang yishu cidian 東西方藝術辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 535.
Tao Mingjun 陶明君, ed. (1993). Zhongguo hualun cidian 中國畫論辭典 (Changsha: Hunan chubanshe), 309.
Sun Guobin 孫國彬 (1996). "Daguanlu 大觀錄", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Yishu 藝術卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 819.