Colophon by Zhang Cheng 張澂 (d. 1143):
[This is] Zhou Wenju’s painting, In the Palace. [In this scroll], women and children number eighty, with a single man. All are drawn to life, not to mention such matters as cosmetic accessories, musical instruments, pots and pans, fans, chairs, mats, parakeets, dogs, and butterflies. Wenju was a native of Jurong. He served as a Hanlin Daizhao [painter-in-waiting] in the south. In figure painting, his style is akin to Zhou Fang’s [active 8th century], but adding a touch of exquisiteness. He once painted a painting titled Southern Villa for Li Houzhu, a painting that was praised at the time as a supreme achievement. In later days, it was presented to the [Song] court and was much cherished in the imperial pavilion [library]. In the Palace was said to be a genuine work by him. It had been in the collection of Zhu Zai, the former Chamberlain for Palace Revenue. Perhaps he had a copy made as a gift, [which is the scroll that I saw]. Women here are depicted with tall chignons, such being the fashion since the Tang dynasty. This scroll presents them with full bodies and also long trailing skirts—this was indeed Zhou Fang’s approach. When in Qiaonan, I visited the descendents of Emperor Gaozu [r. 618–626] of the Chen [dynasty] at Duanxi [near Gaoyao xian, Guangdong province] and saw with my own eyes their family collection of imperial ancestors. The attendant ladies at the sides of these Emperors had the same hairdo as is seen here. The palace servants were shown with two large loops hanging between the neck and shoulder. Although these hairstyles looked ugly, they do appear quite real indeed. The House of Li called its own dynasty Southern Tang; consequently, in matters of fashion, they adhered to the Tang mode. Yet in terms of their cultural origins, they were inheritors of the Six Dynasties. It is the insight of those painters who believed that, in appraising ancient paintings, the first priority lies in the discernment of costumes, furnishings, chariots, and so on. This is indeed the case. On the yiyou day of the fifth moon, the gengshen year of the Shaoxing era, Tanyan Jushi inscribed this.
Seal: “Zhang Cheng yin zhang” [seal inadvertently impressed upside down].