Reference Entry

Zhao Boju

Joan Stanley-Baker

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T093417

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[ Chao Po-chü ; zi Qianli]

(b Zhuo xian, Hebei Province, before 1123; d 1160–73).

Chinese painter . His paintings of landscapes, figures, flowers, fruit and birds apparently ranged in size and format from large screens to handscrolls, album leaves and fans. The critic Zhao Xigu ( fl 1180–1240) considered Zhao Boju the best of all Southern Song (1127–1279) painters. However, no authentic work by Zhao Boju survives, leaving the question of his style open to interpretation.

Zhao Boju and his younger brother, Zhao Bosu, also a painter, were 7th-generation descendants of the founder of the Song dynasty (960–1279), Emperor Taizu (reg 960–75). When Emperor Gaozong (reg 1127–62) was presented with a fan painting done by Zhao Boju, he was enormously pleased. On meeting Zhao in person and discovering him to be a kinsman, he addressed him as ‘royal cousin’ and assigned him the title of Military Commander of the eastern Zhejiang circuit, an office the short-lived Zhao held until his death. The Emperor commissioned Zhao to paint the screens for the hall called the Jiying dian and is known often to have inscribed Zhao’s works....

Reference Entry.  787 words. 

Subjects: Painting ; East Asian Art

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