Scroll. Rubbing of the Mu Ai T'ang tablet, in handwriting of Chu Hsi

Scope and Content

The scroll is dominated by three large characters which read from right to left 'Mu Ai Tang'. The literal translation of these characters is 'to tend a flock', 'love', 'hall'. Three smaller characters in the top left corner of the scroll indicate that the large calligraphy is the work of Zhu Xi (1130-1200). Three columns of smaller characters describe when Zhu Xi's calligrahy was inscribed on a stone tablet or stele for preservation. They indicate that the stele was erected in the north western city of Xian during the reign of Tianshun Emperor from 1457-1465, during the Ming dynasty. The stele could have been inscribed for a particular hall or office, though it is more likely that it was done to preserve the calligraphy of Zhu Xi and that its intention was to enshrine the Confucian ideal of benevolent government as articulated by Zhu Xi.

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