Collection of Su Dongpo: 40 Juan, Post Collection: 20 Juan


Su Shi (1037‒1101), courtesy name Zizhan, style name Dongpo Jushi (Resident of Dongpo), born in Meishan (in present-day Sichuan) during the Northern Song, was a renowned literary scholar and one of the eight greatest masters of the Tang and Song dynasties. Both his father Su Xun (1009‒66) and his brother Su Zhe (1039‒1112) were famous literati; together they were known as Three Su. Su Shi’s scholarship was profound. He was multitalented and excelled particularly in calligraphy, painting, poetry, and prose. Su Shi, Cai Xiang (1012‒67), Huang Tingjian (1045‒1105), and Mi Fu (1051‒1107) were considered the four great calligraphers of the Song dynasty. Su Shi was especially skilled in painting bamboo, trees, and rocks, and wrote brilliantly on the theory of painting and calligraphy. His prose ranked alongside that of Ouyang Xiu (1107-72), while his poems matched those of Huang Tingjian (1045‒1105). His magnificent ci poetry, written in a bold style, is ranked with that of Xin Qiji (1140‒1207). He and Xin, known as Su-Xin, became two representatives of the Haofang school of vigorous and unrestrained style, a departure from the delicate and restrained Wanyue school. After passing the highest-level imperial examination, Su Shi attained his jinshi degree in the second year (1057) of the Jiayou reign. He held a variety of government posts, including assistant magistrate in Fuchang Xian, Henan, judge in the Court of Judicial Review, assistant to the Military Training Commission in Fengxiang Prefecture, and assistant at the Institute of History. In the second year (1079) of the Emperor Shenzong reign, when he was the prefect of Huzhou, he was accused of slandering the investigating censor and was jailed. He was exiled for three years to a military post in Huangzhou, where he built a small residence in 1081, called Dongpo (Eastern Slope), from which he took his style name. Later he was exiled again. He was recalled to the capital in the first year (1086) of the Yuanyou reign of Emperor Qizong and became a Secretariat drafter and Hanlin scholar. In the ninth year (1094) of Emperor Zhezong, he was accused of criticizing the court and was exiled again to the remote Huizhou and Danzhou (Hainan Island) but was recalled to the north once more in 1100. He died in the first year (1101) of Emperor Huizong’s reign in Changzhou on his way to the capital from his exile. Among his existing publications is Dongpo quan ji (Complete Works of Dongpo), in 115 juan. Su Shi was prolific, but tracing his collected works is difficult. Even during his lifetime there had already been six collections published: Dongpo ji (Works of Su Dongpo) in 40 juan, which he compiled, Hou ji (Post collection) in 20 juan, Nei zhi ji (Inner collection) in 10 juan, Wai zhi ji (Outer collection) in three juan, Zou yi (Memorials) in 15 juan, and He Tao ji (Responding to Tao Yuanming) in four juan.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Hangzhou, China


Title in Original Language

东坡集 : 四十卷, 后集 : 二十卷

Type of Item

Physical Description

2 volumes ; 27.4 x 18.4 centimeters


  • Only juan 6-9 are included in the WDL presentation.

Last updated: June 2, 2016