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Painting & Calligraphy
Pu Ru (1896-1963)
Artwork Image
Capture Sanlang

The inscription refers to a story between Yan Poxi and Zhang Wenyuan (also named Sanlang) from The Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels in Chinese literature. Yan Poxi was forced to marry Song Jiang to repay his kindness after he provides her with financial assistance for her deceased father's funeral. She does not like Song Jiang and has an adulterous affair with Song's assistant Zhang Wenyuan. She discovers the outlaw Chao Gai's letter to Song Jiang and threatens to report Song to the magistrate for being in league with outlaws if Song does not agree to her conditions. She wants Song Jiang to give her his house and property, allow her to marry Zhang Wenyuan and let her keep the gold from Chao Gai. Song Jiang kills her in anger and flees to evade arrest. The deceased Yan Poxi becomes a ghost and insists Zhang Wenyuan to accompany her to hell.

Artist Bio
Pu Ru (1896-1963), also known as Pu Hsin-Yu, was a native of Beijing, and a member of the Manchu imperial family, born near the end of the Qing Dynasty. He was cousin to the last Emperor Pu Yi and was one of the children who presented themselves at the palace as candidates for the future emperor. Being a prince, he was an honored student in Berlin. After he returned from Europe, he retreated into the Western Mountains, where he spent many years at the Jie Tai (Restrain Stage) Monastery to concentrate on his studies. He was strongly against Pu Yi's cooperation with Japan, foresaw the unrest in China and fled to Taiwan in the same year as Chang Kai Shek. After the Qing Dynasty was overthrown, he changed his name to Pu Hsin-Yu. He also gave himself the name Hsi-shan I-shih, meaning "Hermit of Mt. West", which disclosed his lofty inner being. On the other hand, he was often amused by what he was painting and liked to bring out humor in the figures which he created. A great master, he was full of love, kindness and consideration.