Other Calligraphy in National Palace Museum, part1
Welcome to the National Palace Museum's collection of calligraphy from the Song dynasty! Here, you can explore some of the most beautiful and intricate works of art from this period. We have a variety of different pieces on display here, including Yuanhuan by Wang Xizhi, Timely Clearing After Snowfall by Wang Hsi-chih, Three Passages: Ping'an, Heru, and Fengju by Wang Xizhi, Essay on Calligraphy by Sun Kuo-t'ing, Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew by Yen Chen-ch'ing, Autobiography by Huai-su, Copy from the Ch'un-hua Modelbooks by Liu Yung, Calligraphing Poetry by Wang To, The Homecoming Ode by Shen Du and "Wu-i ko" Poems by Wang Ch'ung. These are all masterpieces that show the skill and creativity of these calligraphers. Come take a look at these incredible artifacts today!
Wang Xizhi was skilled in all kinds of script types and was known to later generations as the "Sage of Calligraphy." This piece of calligraphy, also called "Xingbie," is actually a precise copy made by outlines filled with ink. The method involved delicately tracing the strokes of the original and then carefully filling them with ink, representing one of the ways in which reproductions were made in ancient times.
2. Timely Clearing After Snowfall
Wang Hsi-chih was a native of Lin-i in Lang-ya (Shantung province) and a member of the nobility. He was versed in poetry, music, and calligraphy. He took different brush styles, such as Ch'in dynasty (221-206 BC) seal script and Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) clerical script, and fused them into standard, running, and cursive scripts to create ideal calligraphy forms.
3. Three Passages: Ping'an, Heru, and Fengju
Wang Xizhi, a famous calligrapher of the Eastern Jin period, established the paragons for modern cursive and running scripts, leading him to become known as the "Sage Calligrapher." "Ping'an" and "Heru" were two letters written by Wang, while "Fengju" originally was appended to the "Heru" letter. The three were mounted together in the late Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and inscriptions of appreciation from elsewhere by Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072) and others added. The three passages here are all precise copies from the Tang dynasty done using fine outlines filled with ink, a technique also used for the date, title, and signature parts as well The silk-like lines reveal the use of a centered brush, representing Wang's supreme balance of brush quickness, roundness, and variations to the starts and stops The characters range in size, position, openness, and slant:No two are alike, yet all highlight each other, demonstrating the artist's great creativity
4. Essay on Calligraphy
Sun Kuo-t'ing was from Wu-chün and his name was Sun Kuo-t'ing. He was of humble origins but eventually became a high-ranking official. He resigned from his position after being slandered at court and turned to the study of calligraphy. TITLE: ORIGINAL_TEXT: SUMMARY: TITLE: ORIGINAL_TEXT:
5. Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew
Yen Chen-ch'ing's ancestors came from the Shantung area. During the revolt of Li Hsi-lieh, Yen Chen-ch'ing was instructed to bring an imperial communique to the rebels. However, he was detained and, on the third day of the eighth lunar month of 785, was executed. Yen therefore has long been considered a loyal martyr of the T'ang dynasty. Earlier, in the rebellion of An Lu-shan, Yen Chen-ch'ing's cousin Yen Kao-ch'ing was serving as magistrate of Shan-chün. When rebel forces invaded the area, the T'ang armies did not come to the rescue, resulting in the fall of the town and the death of Yen Kao-ch'ing and his son, Yen Chi-ming. This is what Yen Chen-ch'ing meant when he wrote in this piece, "Traitorous officials did not rescue [them], so a lone town was surrounded. A father and son perished, and their nest was destroyed." After the incident, Yen Chen-ch'ing sent his elder nephew Ch'uan-ming to the town to make funerary arrangements. However, he could only come up with a few remains of them. Thus, it was under these circumstances that Yen Chen-ch'ing at the age of 49 wrote "Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew." Scholars have pointed out that the character of a person is revealed in the way he does calligraphy. Yen Chen-ch'ing was a man of loyalty and integrity all his life, and this spirit is revealed in his calligraphy. This scroll is one of the works most frequently cited by scholars.
Huai-su was a monk who originally went by the name Ch'ien Ts'ang-chen. Born in Ling-ling County, Hunan, he later moved to Ch'ang-sha Even as a youth, he was interested in Buddhism, eventually taking the tonsure. Huai-su was also a devotee of the art of cursive script. At around 772, he traveled north to the capital Ch'ang-an and Loyang His cursive script was similar in spirit to his free and unrestrained personality. It was therefore greatly admired by famous contemporaries, poets, and other calligraphers, such as Yen Chen-ch'ing (709-785), who all presented him with gifts of prose and poetry In 777, Huai-su transcribed some of these gifts with a preface in "wild" cursive script to create this handscroll. In this work, Huai-su used a fine brush to write out quite large characters. The strokes are rounded and dashing, almost as if they were steel wires curled and bent The tip of the brush is exposed where it lifts from the paper, leaving a distinctive hook--hence the description "steel strokes and silver hooks" for his calligraphy A continuous cursive force permeates the entire piece The brush skirts up, down, left, and right as it speeds across the paper The crescendos of the brush, as if it were a sword, reveal varying speeds The calligraphy also appears heavy and light in places In addition to the strokes, the dots suggest breaks for the flowing strokes. In the relentless force of the brushwork, the centered brush swirled and danced to create character after character and line after line, only to be punctuated by the impeccably placed dots
7. Copy from the Ch'un-hua Modelbooks
Liu Yung was a native of Chu-ch'eng in Shantung. His father served the Ch'ien-lung Emperor (r. 1736-1795) as grand secretary. Liu Yung passed the Presented Scholar civil service examinations in 1741 and entered officialdom. Liu Yung (style name Ch'ung-ju and sobriquet Shih-an), was a native of Chu-ch'eng in Shantung His father served the Ch'ien-lung Emperor (r 1736-1795) as grand secretary. Under the influence of his father's scholarship and position at court, Liu Yung passed the Presented Scholar civil service examinations in 1741 entered officialdom He eventually went on to serve as grand secretary In 1797, though advanced in age, he was still respected at court with his appointment as Academician of the T'i-jen Hall In time remaining from official matters, Liu Yung enjoyed studying, writing calligraphy, and composing poetry In calligraphy, he became an astute connoisseur and a master of modelbook studies In his early years, Liu Yung learned calligraphy from his father, starting with the styles of the great Yuan and Ming calligraphers Chao Meng-fu (1254-1322) and Tung Ch'i-ch'ang (1555-1636) In addition, by copying the ancients, he was able to trace the evolution of a style back to the source Consequently, judging from Liu's surviving works, he apparently was inspired by classic models from the Han, Chin, T'ang, and Sung dynasties
8. Calligraphing Poetry
Wang To, a native of Meng-chin in Honan, received his Presented Scholar civil service degree in 1622 and served at court in both the Ming (1368-1644) and Ch'ing (1644-1911) dynasties, in the latter for which he was Minister of Rites. Despite his achievements in art, however, he has been criticized for this attitude in politics. In calligraphy, Wang was adamant about practicing by copying the works of the old masters one day and then writing as one pleases the next. The brushwork in his cursive script has a lively rhythm to it and there is considerable variety to the tones of the ink Wang's cursive script, done by holding the arm aloft, was evidently influenced by the styles of Huang T'ing-chien and Chu Yün-ming
9. The Homecoming Ode
Shen Du was a native of Huating (modern Shanghai, also known in ancient times as Yunjian). He led the formation of the "Academic Style" of Ming dynasty calligraphy and was praised by the Ming emperor Chengzu as the "Wang Xizhi of Our Dynasty." Tao Yuanming ca.