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Transcript of the Classic of Filial Piety

Written approximately in the 3rd century B.C., the Classic of Filial Piety has 18 chapters in total. The transcript, a fragment and the second half of the Classic of Filial Piety, was written in the Western Jin Dynasty.

Transcript of the Classic of Filial Piety 

 
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Zhang Jun


Jin Dynasty (265-420 A.D.)


Ink and Color on Paper


Handscroll


Width×Length: 27cm×89.4cm


Written approximately in the 3rd century B.C., the Classic of Filial Piety has 18 chapters in total. The transcript, a fragment and the second half of the Classic of Filial Piety, was written in the Western Jin Dynasty. It is the earliest of all ancient transcripts of the Classic of Filial Piety known to man. Containing only a few interchangeable and variant characters, its text is largely consistent with the Commentaries and Explanations to the Thirteen Classics. Although the transcript has been slightly damaged, the ink on the paper still glows. The end of the transcript bears a colophon that indicates the name of the calligrapher and the date of completion. The style of its script is a mix of clerical script and regular script, with the technique of the strokes, such as heng (rightward horizontal stroke) and pie (a throw falling leftwards with slight curve), leaning towards that of clerical script. With sophistication, Zhang Jun successfully delivered the quality of rigorousness and quaintness in the art of calligraphy.


 
 

The Manuscripts of Five Classics

The book have eight volumes: The Classic of Poetry, the Classic of History, the Book of Rites, the Book of Changes and the Spring and Autumn Annals, all transcribed by Zheng Xie himself.

The Manuscripts of Five Classics 

 
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Zheng Xie


Qing Dynasty (1616-1911)


Ancient Book


Width×Length: 29.5cm×19cm


Zheng Xie (1693-1766), who styled himself as "Banqiao", originated in Xinghua, Jiangsu. As one of the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou, a group of eight Chinese painters active in the Qing Dynasty, Zheng was adept at calligraphy and painting. His unique calligraphy style, calculated while unrestrained, incorporated the merits of various schools. The strokes, large or small, thick or thin, were well orchestrated like the notes in a pleasant symphony. 


The book have eight volumes: The Classic of Poetry, the Classic of History, the Book of Rites, the Book of Changes and the Spring and Autumn Annals, all transcribed by Zheng himself. The cover of each volume was tagged and sealed by Liang Zhangju, an officer and poet of the Qing Dynasty, to prove that the handwriting was authentic. Liang also sealed the back of each volume. The title of each volume, handwritten by Zheng, was slightly larger in size than the characters in the text. Zheng's seals, intaglio and in relief, were also found on some of the title pages and text pages. 


 
 

Odes to Plum Blossom

Huang Tingjian (1045-1105) originated in Xiushui, Jiangxi. Adept in cursive and running script, Huang established a calligraphic style of his own.

Odes to Plum Blossom 

 
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Huang Tingjian


Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127)


Hanging Scroll


Ink and Color on Silk


Width×Length:27.5cm×210cm


Huang Tingjian (1045-1105) originated in Xiushui, Jiangxi. Adept in cursive and running script, Huang established a calligraphic style of his own. The scroll included three poems on plum blossom he wrote in cursive script in his middle age. Although thin and bony in shape of the script, Huang showcased a changeful style of brushwork, with resolute vigor of strokes and rhythmic handwriting, which varies from the works of his late years. The preface and colophon were written in minuscule running script with an unusually adventurous arrangement of components.


 
 

Calligraphy of Various Scripts

Dong Qichang (1555-1636), who styled himself as "Xuanzai" and "Sibai", was a celebrated calligrapher and painter born in Songjiang, Shanghai during the Ming Dynasty.

Calligraphy of Various Scripts 

 
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Dong Qichang


Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)


Handscroll


Ink and Color on Paper


Width×Length: 23.5cm×310cm


Dong Qichang (1555-1636), who styled himself as "Xuanzai" and "Sibai", was a celebrated calligrapher and painter born in Songjiang, Shanghai during the Ming Dynasty. Dong was known for establishing his own style of calligraphy by incorporating the essence of all schools. His strokes, robust and graceful, brim with clarity and simplicity. Inspired by the calligraphers before him, Dong was especially adept in running and regular script and has left an indelible mark on the history of Chinese calligraphy. In these scrolls, he reproduced several paragraphs of the works of Wang Xizhi, Wang Xianzhi and Mi Fu, all renowned calligraphers in ancient China. The scrolls also included the poems of famous Chinese poets, such as Li Bai and Fan Zhongyan, Dong's comments on books and his own poems. His flexibility in the use of regular, cursive and semi-cursive script, embodying his extraordinary grasp of ancient calligraphic techniques and remarkable ability of striking out a new path. In the colophon, Gao Shiqi, a Chinese politician and collector of calligraphy works in the Qing Dynasty, claimed that he had bound two scrolls of Dong's works together and named them Jinsha Tie (金沙帖). 


 
 

Scroll: The Explanations for Studies

The original text of the Explanations of Studies is a famous piece of article written by Han Yu, a Chinese historian, poet, and politician of the Tang Dynasty.

Scroll: The Explanations for Studies 

 
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Xian Yushu


Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368)


Handscroll


Ink and Color on Paper


Width×Length: 49.1cm×795.5cm


Xian Yushu (1257-1302), who styled himself as "Hulin Yinli", was a calligrapher born in Jixian County, Tianjin in the Yuan Dynasty. The original text of the Explanations of Studies is a famous piece of article written by Han Yu, a Chinese historian, poet, and politician of the Tang Dynasty. Xian reproduced the article in his late years in both cursive and running script, and occasionally regular script. With 108 rows, each 2-10 characters, the script was written at one stretch, demonstrating Xian's aspiration to both "rigorous structure" and "vivid vibe", and the harmony of the two. Considered a masterpiece of Xian's, the handscroll bears three seals. The scroll was postscripted by Liu Zhi and Ban Weizhi. Liu Zhi (1280-1334), who styled himself as "Shizhong" and "Buzhai", originated in Shanxi. His colophon bears the influence of Zhao Mengfu, a Chinese scholar, painter and calligrapher during the Yuan Dynasty, yet lacks sophistication. Ban Weizhi (the dates of his birth and death unknown), who styled himself as "Yangong" and "Shuzhai", was born in Kaifeng, Henan. Unlike Liu, Ban showcased a pleasant and elegant style of postscript. 


 
 

Nine Poems of Tang Dynasty in Cursive Script

Wang Duo (1592-1652) was born in Mengjin, now Mengjin County, Henan. He became a jinshi (imperial scholar) in 1622 and ranked up to the Minister of Rites and the Great Secretariat of the Eastern Hall when the Ming was the ruling regime of China.

Nine Poems of Tang Dynasty in Cursive Script 

 
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Wang Duo


Qing Dynasty (1616-1911)


Handscroll


Ink on Satin


Width×Length: 34.5cm×654cm


Wang Duo (1592-1652) was born in Mengjin, now Mengjin County, Henan. He became a jinshi (imperial scholar) in 1622 and ranked up to the Minister of Rites and the Great Secretariat of the Eastern Hall when the Ming was the ruling regime of China. In the Qing Dynasty, Wang was the Minister of Rites, academician of the Institute for the Advancement of Literature and the Crown Prince's Tutor. Active at the shift of regimens as a renowned calligrapher, Wang passed away in 1652 and was honored with the posthumous title of "Wenan". Wang was adept in cursive and running script, and profoundly inspired by Wang Xizhi and Wang Xianzhi, two celebrated calligraphers in ancient China, especially the latter. He also extensively drew on the strengths of famous calligraphers in the Northern and Southern dynasties, the Tang and Song dynasties. Having meticulously studied the Chun Hua Ge Tie, the oldest imperial anthology of calligraphy rubbings made in 992, Wang established his own style of calligraphy and was honored the "Magic Calligrapher". While strictly following the rules of calligraphy and achieving a balance between tension and relaxation, Wang's script seems to have life of its own with overwhelming vitality. Back when the style of Dong Qichang, a celebrated calligrapher in the Ming Dynasty, swept over the circle of calligraphy, Wang and several calligraphers advocated following the example of accomplished calligraphers, and set their own banner. Their ambition helped pave a new way for the development of calligraphy. Well-balanced between tension and relaxation of strokes, the handscroll embodies a rare and unrestrained style of brushwork.


 
 

Running-cursive Script of Yanzhi Shu

Zhang Ruitu (1570-1644), who styled himself Changgong and with the alternative name Ershui, was a famous calligrapher in Ming Dynasty.

Running-cursive Script of Yanzhi Shu 

 
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Hand scroll


Zhang Ruitu


Ming Dynasty


154×51 cm


Zhang Ruitu (1570-1644), who styled himself Changgong and with the alternative name Ershui, was a famous calligrapher in Ming Dynasty. He was a native of Jinjiang, Fujian Province. He was adept in running and cursive script and skillful with solid and side brushstrokes. His calligraphy style was elegant and had its own unique feature. Together with Xing Tong, Mi Wanzhong and Dong Qichang, He was regarded as one of the Four Famous Calligraphers in Late Ming Dynasty. This hanging scroll was written in 1625. The content came from the essay Yanzhi Shu by Xiao Dayuan, but some characters are different with the original work.

 
 

Poem To Zhu Jinquan in Running Script

Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) was a famous Ming Dynasty painter and calligrapher. His original given name was Bi with the alternative name Hengshan. Because people called him Zhengming commonly, he changed his name to Zhengzhong.

Poem To Zhu Jinquan in Running Script 

 
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Hanging scroll


Ming Dynasty


180×98.3 cm


Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) was a famous Ming Dynasty painter and calligrapher. His original given name was Bi with the alternative name Hengshan. Because people called him Zhengming commonly, he changed his name to Zhengzhong. Born in the present-day Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, Wen called himself Hengshan Jushi. He was a man of great attainments in several calligraphic styles and famous for the synthetic calligraphy. Wen's calligraphy was fluent, forceful and natural . When old, he imitated the sharp and aggressive style of Huang Tingjian. This work imitated Huang Tingjian's big characters.



 
 

Imitation of Poem by Mi Fu in Running Script

Shen Quan (1624-1684) ,who styled himself Zhenrui, with the alternative names of Yitang and Chongzhai, was a native of Songjiang in Shanghai.

Imitation of Poem by Mi Fu in Running Script 

 
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Hanging scroll


Qing Dynasty


171×50 cm


Shen Quan (1624-1684) ,who styled himself Zhenrui, with the alternative names of Yitang and Chongzhai, was a native of Songjiang in Shanghai. As a famous calligrapher in Qing Dyansty, he followed the style of Mi Fu and Dong Qichang and was appreciated by Emperor Kangxi.



 
 

Poem Tai Shan (Mount Tai) in Running Script

Kang Youwei (1858-1927) was born in Nanhai, Guangdong Province. Kang was the noted calligrapher and calligraphic theoretician at the end of Qing Dynasty.

Poem Tai Shan (Mount Tai) in Running Script 

 
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Hanging scroll


Kang Youwei


Qing Dynasty


151.2×40.5cm


Kang Youwei (1858-1927) was born in Nanhai, Guangdong Province. His original given name was Zuyi, and styled himself Guangsha and Gengsheng and his alternative name was Changsu. Kang was the noted calligrapher and calligraphic theoretician at the end of Qing Dynasty. Influenced by his rich family background, he learned the calligraphy of several masters at an early age. Kang promoted the inscriptions of Northern Dynasties after his middle age and created the unique "Kang Nanhai style".




 
 

Hanging Scroll in Cursive Script

As a Manchurian of the Plain Yellow Banner, Tiebao (1752-1824) was a famous calligrapher in Qing Dynasty.

Hanging Scroll in Cursive Script 

 
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Tiebao


Qing Dyansty


207×41 cm


As a Manchurian of the Plain Yellow Banner, Tiebao (1752-1824) was a famous calligrapher in Qing Dynasty. His styled himself Yeting with the alternative names of Mei'an, Meiweng or Tieqing. His family name was originally Gioro and later Dong'e. Tiebao followed the style of Yan Zhenqing in regular script and Wang Xizhi and Monk Huaisu in cursive script. He was as well-known as famous calligraphers Liu Yong, Weng Fanggang and Yongxing.




 
 

Cursive Script Imitation of Yi Min Tie

Xing Tong (1551-1612), who styled himself Ziyuan, was a leading Ming Dynasty calligrapher from Linqing of Shandong Province.

Cursive Script Imitation of Yi Min Tie 

 
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Hanging scroll


Xing Tong


Ming Dynasty


168×26.3 cm


Xing Tong (1551-1612), who styled himself Ziyuan, was a leading Ming Dynasty calligrapher from Linqing of Shandong Province. Xing was famous for tablet calligraphy and was called one of the "Xing Zhang Mi, Dong" together with Zhang Ruitu, Mi Wanzhong and Dong Qichang. This hanging scroll imitated Yi Min Tie by Wang Xizhi.





 
 

Antithetical Couplet in Running Script I

Weng Fanggang (1733-1818), who styled himself Zhengsan, had alternative names of Qin Xi and Su Zhai when old.

Antithetical Couplet in Running Script I 

 
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Weng Fanggang


Qing dynasty


37.8×224.8 cm


Weng Fanggang (1733-1818), who styled himself Zhengsan, had alternative names of Qin Xi and Su Zhai when old. He was a famous calligrapher in Beijing in Qing Dynasty. He engaged in the study of bronze and stone tablets, especially the textual research of famous tablets and notes. . His calligraphy style which followed Ouyang Xun, Yan Zhenqing and Su Shi, is simple and elegant. As well- known as Liu Yong, Liang Zhongshu and Wang Wenzhi, he was adept in running and small regular scripts.