Doodles of Du Fu
It all began last week when a student uploaded a doodled picture of Du from his Chinese language textbook to express his anger at a boring class and a school assignment to recite poetry.
The portrait is instantly recognizable to students past and present and the doodle went viral - inspiring others.
Officials with the Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum in Chengdu City said that the portrait is one of the most treasured cultural relics in the museum.
A museum official said it is good that people in the modern age are paying attention to the poet on this 1,300th anniversary of his birth.
But she asked web users to respect the literary icon, as some doodles appeared "indecent."
Pictures depicting Du having sex with women and men have been branded "pornographic" and disrespectful to traditional culture by some web users.
"People shouldn't go too far when joking about China's most prominent poet," said one netizen. "If Du were around today, he would sue."
But some web users who submitted doodles insisted they meant no harm and that it was just nostalgia.