Lin Lan Painting and Calligraphy Education,Travel through the mystery of Chinese calligraphy history over five thousand years


Chinese calligraphy is the art of writing Chinese characters. From the perspective of relying on Chinese characters, Chinese calligraphy is a very unique visual art, but this uniqueness does not prevent people who do not know Chinese characters from appreciating Chinese calligraphy. Chinese characters are an important factor in Chinese calligraphy, because Chinese calligraphy was produced and developed in Chinese culture, and Chinese characters are one of the basic elements of Chinese culture. Relying on Chinese characters is the main mark that distinguishes Chinese calligraphy from other types of calligraphy.

Calligraphy is an art native to China with a long and profound tradition of its own. It is one of the four art of piano, chess, calligraphy and painting. In ancient China, calligraphy had a very high degree of participation, and ordinary intellectuals paid varying degrees of effort to learn calligraphy, and a large number of calligraphers were produced. Many dynasties in China since the Qin and Han dynasties have produced quite a few calligraphy works; among them, the best have become the most precious collections of the royal family, nobles and literati. In addition, Chinese calligraphy has a rich, complete and consistent theoretical system, which shows that calligraphy was a very mature art in ancient China.

Chinese calligraphy has a very good foundation for life. Many perfect calligraphy works exist in the form of letters, poems, manuscripts, inscriptions, epitaphs, plaques, screens, interior decorations, etc. Most of these works have written content and the artistic beauty of calligraphy complements each other. specialty. Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting, seal cutting, dance, music and other art forms influence each other.

Chinese calligraphy has been valued by those in power and intellectuals in ancient China. Having a certain level of calligraphy is one of the basic qualities of ancient Chinese intellectuals. Many emperors attached great importance to the study of calligraphy, and some emperors even had a very high level and were well-known calligraphers. Chinese calligraphy has directly influenced the development of calligraphy in Japan, Korea and other places, especially the part where Chinese characters are used as the written content.

On September 30, 2009, the fourth meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Abu Dhabi, UAE reviewed and approved Chinese calligraphy to be included in the "Representative List of Human Intangible Cultural Heritage."

Cow bone inscription

➤History of Chinese Calligraphy

The history of Chinese calligraphy is as long as the history of the use of Chinese characters. Since the invention of the oracle bone inscriptions, the fonts of Chinese calligraphy have gone through the development stage from seal script to official script, cursive script, regular script and running script. Each stage produced a large number of calligraphers and calligraphy works, these calligraphers and calligraphy works constitute the deep tradition of Chinese calligraphy. Chinese calligraphy has been a mature art in ancient times, with a rich, complete, and consistent theoretical system. Many theoretical works are summaries of calligraphers' artistic practice, which greatly affected the calligraphy learning and creation of future generations.

1. Pre-Qin

It is generally believed that the history of Chinese calligraphy can be traced back to the origin period of Chinese characters. There is no definite evidence for the appearance and formation period of the original Chinese characters, and the earliest mature form of the Chinese characters discovered so far is the oracle bone inscriptions. Oracle bone inscriptions are Chinese characters that retain some hieroglyphic colors. From the discovery of oracle bone inscriptions at the end of the nineteenth century to the present, more than 150,000 oracle bones have been unearthed. Oracle bone inscriptions began to become the object of people's artistic appreciation, and from these oracle bones, elements of Chinese calligraphy were discovered: the structure and layout of Chinese characters.

Obviously, it is much more difficult to engrave words on hard oracle bones than on bamboo slips, silk or paper. Most people think that in the era of using oracle bone inscriptions, there are very few people who can master both character recognition and writing techniques, and these people can be said to be some of the earliest calligraphers in ancient China. Nevertheless, calligraphy was unlikely to be distinguished from the practicality of life at that time, and people had not consciously created and appreciated calligraphy works.

During the Shang and Zhou dynasties, bronze ware was widely used. Some bronzes are also inscribed with characters, which are called inscriptions by later generations. Since most of the bronze wares with inscriptions are Zhonghe Ding, the inscriptions on bronze are also called Zhong Dingwen. These words engraved on the bell and the tripod mostly described the national political and social life of the emperor, princes, and nobles at that time, such as sacrificial ceremonies, hunting, battles, edicts, and grants.

Han Dynasty "Yiying Stele"

Bronze inscriptions are generally considered to be the main form of Chinese characters after the oracle bone inscriptions. The earlier inscriptions preserved many features similar to the oracle bone inscriptions. Later, they gradually distanced themselves and became more independent. There are also people who think that inscriptions have their own independent origin, and that it originated even earlier than the oracle bone inscriptions. It was only because the people of the Zhou dynasty "respect and respect things" ("Book of Rites•Table Records"), mainly used to ask ghosts and gods. The oracle bone inscriptions were not as valued as the Shang Dynasty, which led to the decline of oracle bone inscriptions and the prevalence of inscriptions.

The Western Zhou Dynasty was the heyday of Bronze inscriptions. In this period, the style of Bronze inscriptions was heavy, vigorous, elegant and magnificent. Representative works include "Mao Gong Ding", "Da Yu Ding" and "Sanshi Pan". Among them, "Mao Gong Ding" had a great influence on later generations of calligraphers. Qing Dynasty calligrapher Li Ruiqing even said: "Mao Gong Ding was written in Zhou Miaotang, and his text is "Shang Shu"; if you don't learn Mao Gong Ding, you don't even read "Shang Shu". "This sentence shows that "Mao Gong Ding" is considered a "compulsory course" for learning calligraphy.

At the end of the Zhou Dynasty, inscriptions on stone drums, steles, cliffs and other stone objects began to appear, and these words were called stone inscriptions by later generations. Stone inscriptions show some characteristics that are different from inscriptions, but both inscriptions and stone inscriptions are included in the scope of "Great Seal". The earliest and most representative stone inscription in existence is "Stone Drum Wen".

In the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, bamboo slips and wooden slips began to be widely used as the main writing materials. From the user's point of view, due to the cheapness of the bamboo slips, it is only then possible for the text to be mastered by ordinary civilians. The main group of characters learning and writing may begin to change from those with specialized skills to ordinary civilians. And Chinese calligraphy also began to have a more extensive life foundation. During the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period, China was a period of political division. Before Emperor Qin Shihuang unified the six countries, there were differences in writing, currency, weights and measures in various vassal states to varying degrees. Due to historical reasons, the development of Chinese character forms has appeared in two routes, the folk and the official. Therefore, the development process of the specific forms of Chinese characters from the big seal to the small seal is not a linear and consistent process. Later people discovered the original form of official script in the bamboo slips of this period.

In line with the widespread use of bamboo slips, the brush also began to be used as the main direct writing tool. In the following two thousand years, the brush has been the main writing tool of the Chinese. Writing with a brush has become an important feature of Chinese calligraphy, and the overall appearance of Chinese calligraphy has been roughly finalized since then.

2. Qin Han

In 221 BC, Emperor Qin Shihuang unified the six countries and established the Qin Dynasty. In order to consolidate its rule, the Qin Dynasty adopted a series of measures to eliminate the various institutional differences between the original vassal states, including "the same document" ("Historical Records • Li Si Biography"), that is, the original vassal states used their own The different characters are unified into Xiaozhuan.

Xu Shen, a philologist in the Eastern Han Dynasty, narrated this period of history in "Shu Wen Jie Zi • Preface", said: "Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor of the world, the prime minister Li Si played the same, but he did not cooperate with Qin Wen. Si made "Cangjie Pian" , The CRRC government ordered Zhao Gao to write the "Yuan Li Pian", and the Great History ordered Hu Wujing to write the "Education Pian". Both were taken from the "Shi Yan" big seal, or the so-called Xiao Zhuan." This shows that Xiao Zhuan is in the emperor. Under the instruction of, several ministers at the time were in charge of reforming the characters of the princes at that time and unified the formation of standard Chinese characters. Because of Li Si's great reputation in calligraphy, later generations referred to Xiao Zhuan as "Li Si Xiao Zhuan" and believed that Xiao Zhuan was a typeface invented by Li Si alone.

Xiaozhuan is the first and only standard Chinese character form stipulated by the state in China. From the perspective of font style, it has the characteristics of standard, neat, well-proportioned and beautiful. It has been loved by calligraphers for more than two thousand years after the fall of the Qin Dynasty. Almost all generations have been good at writing small seals.

In addition, Xiaozhuan was also the first choice for official seals produced by the feudal dynasties of China. The art of seal cutting was developed under the influence of this aspect.

Zaifeng Bone Dagger

The most popular font in the Han Dynasty was the official script, so "Han Li" was considered a model of official script. It is generally believed that the origin of the official script can be traced back to the Warring States Period, and has been roughly formed by the Qin Dynasty. Xiaozhuan's strokes are round and symmetrical, and the writing is very beautiful, but the writing is relatively slow and cannot meet the requirements of rapid writing in real life; while the official script simplifies the strokes and writing methods of the Xiaozhuan, which has been widely adopted.

The invention and popularization of the official script is a major change in the history of the development of Chinese character forms and the history of Chinese calligraphy. It is generally believed that the official script is a watershed between ancient and modern Chinese characters. The official script of the Han Dynasty is very close to the Chinese characters used in modern times in terms of strokes and structure. In fact, after the appearance of the official script, the various fonts of Chinese characters are similar to those of the official script on the whole, but are far from the fonts of Xiaozhuan and before. This is because in the era before the appearance of official script, due to the insufficient demand for written records in social life and the expensive writing materials, few people could master the recognition and writing of Chinese characters. The popularity of Chinese character recognition and writing contributed to the emergence of official script, and the use of official script in turn promoted the recognition and writing of Chinese characters. Therefore, the official script is a font with the purpose of practicality, which makes it different from the previous fonts. For this reason, the official script has not withdrawn from the daily practical field after other fonts appeared.

Existing Han Li works are mainly handed down in the form of stone inscriptions, inscriptions, and silk slips. The more famous works include: "Laizihou Carved Stone", "Kaitong Baoxie Road Cliff", "Lu Xiaowang Carved Stone", etc. The inscriptions include "Ode to Shimen", "Yiying Stele", "Ode to Xixia", "Ode to Xige", "Ritual Stele", "Confucian Temple Stele", "Huashan Stele", "Cao Quan Stele", "Zhang "Moving Stele", "Xiping Stone Classic", etc.; silk and bamboo slips include "Changsha Mawangdui Silk Book", "Juyan Hanjian", "Wuwei Hanjian" and so on. Almost none of these works can be used to verify the author. Only the "Xi Ping Shi Jing" is rumored to be written by the Eastern Han calligrapher Cai Yong.

In addition, in addition to the mainstream font official script, cursive script appeared in the Han Dynasty, as well as the original regular script and running script. Cursive script is a type of font written with simplified strokes and faster speed when writing official script. Emperor Zhang of the Han Dynasty liked cursive script very much, so the cursive script at this time was also called "Zhangcao". At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Zhang Zhi was the first cursive master to have a name. He further simplified the early cursive script to "Jincao".

3. Three Kingdoms Wei Jin

By the time of the Three Kingdoms, Wei and Jin Dynasties, most of the Chinese fonts currently popular in China appeared. During this period, the five basic fonts, seal script (including big seal and small seal), official script, cursive script, regular script and running script, have basically developed and matured. Among them, cursive, regular script and running script have achieved unprecedented development. Since then, the invention of Chinese fonts has basically ceased, and Chinese calligraphy has begun to develop with calligraphy masters and genres as the main line, and gradually has a formal calligraphy theory. At the same time, this is also the era when the Chinese began to consciously create and appreciate calligraphy works. Pei Songzhi's Notes on the Three Kingdoms quoted the record of the calligrapher's emperor in Wu Lu: "The emperor's character is Da Ming, Guangling Jiangdu, a child work book." ("Three Kingdoms•Wu Zhi•Zhao Dazhuan") This shows that good calligraphy is already a skill worthy of historical records.

More importantly, some calligraphers who had a great influence on later generations appeared during this period, and many of their works were revered as classics of Chinese calligraphy by later generations. Zhong You, a calligrapher from the Three Kingdoms period, was good at regular script. His lower-case work "Xuan Shi Biao" was hailed as the "ancestor of regular script" by later generations. Zhang Huaixuan, a calligraphy theorist of the Tang Dynasty, praised him in "Book Break": "You are good at writing, Yu Cao Xi, Cai Yong, and Liu Desheng, true and peerless, hard and soft. Between the dots and paintings, there are many different interests, which can be described as profound and quaint There is more. Since the Qin and Han dynasties, only one person."

The front of the inscription on the painted ox bones of sacrificial hunting (partial)

Wang Xizhi's "Lanting Preface" is hailed as "the world's first book". During the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Wang Xizhi was recognized as the most outstanding calligrapher in the history of Chinese calligraphy, and was known as the "Sage of Calligraphy". His running script "Lanting Preface" is one of the most charming works in the history of Chinese calligraphy, and is called "the world's first running script" by later generations. Under the influence of Wang Xizhi, his sons Wang Huizhi, Wang Xuanzhi, Wang Xianzhi, and grandson Wang Chunzhi are all good at calligraphy; especially Wang Xianzhi and his father are equally famous, and the two are called "two kings." In addition to Zhong Yao and Wang Xi’s father and son who were famous for their calligraphy, there were also some celebrities at the time who were also quite accomplished in calligraphy, such as the ministers of the Eastern Jin Dynasty Wang Dao, Xie An, Yu Liang, and the hermit Dai An Dao; in addition, there was a A female calligrapher, Mrs. Wei, she was Wang Xizhi's early teacher.

In terms of calligraphy theory, Zhong Yao's "Using Brushwork", Madam Wei's "Bizheng Tu", Wei Heng's "Si Ti Shu Shi", Wang Xizhi's "Self Discussion", "Timing Madam Wei's Bizhenghou", "Remembering Mr. Baiyun's Calligraphy" and Suo Jing's "Caoshu Zhuang" are the summaries of calligraphy practice by calligraphers; while Yang Xin's "Creating Ancient Chinese Calligraphy Names" is the first list of calligraphers in the history of Chinese calligraphy. . It is generally believed that the Wei-Jin period was the first peak of Chinese calligraphy. Because people in the Wei-Jin period advocated charm and tolerance, later generations used "shangyun" to summarize the overall style of Chinese calligraphy during this period.

4. Northern and Southern Dynasties

The Northern and Southern Dynasties began in 420 AD and the Southern Song Dynasty replaced the Eastern Jin regime, and ended in 589 AD when the Sui Dynasty destroyed the Southern Dynasty Chen. During the 160-odd years in between, there have been successive, or side by side, and successive regimes in the north and south of China. This has always been a situation of confrontation between the north and the south.

The calligraphy of the Southern and Northern Dynasties inherited the achievements since the Wei and Jin Dynasties and continued to develop, especially in regular script calligraphy. However, the Southern and Northern Dynasties also showed significant differences in style. Liu Xizai of the Qing Dynasty commented in the "General of Art·General of Books": "The Southern Book is gentle and elegant, while the Northern Book is vigorous"; "The Northern book wins by bones, and the Southern book wins by rhyme".

Due to frequent wars during this period, most of the calligraphy works handed down from the Southern and Northern Dynasties are inscriptions and epitaphs, except for a few ink marks and scriptures. The Southern Dynasty calligraphy has more inherited the heritage of the Eastern Jin Dynasty. The main works handed down include: "Cuanlongyan Stele" and "Crane Crane", etc.; epitaphs include "Liu Huaimin Epitaph", "Lu Chaojing Epitaph", "Liu Dai Epitaph", "The Epitaph of Guiyang Princess Mu Zhao", etc.; inks include the Southern Dynasty Qi Wang Sengqian "Prince Sheren Tie", Wang Ci "Zun Ti An He Tie", etc.; scripture writing is the result of the prosperity of Southern Buddhism, the main works are the Southern Qi "Buddha "Happy Samantabhadra Sutra", "Huayan Sutra" in the Southern Liang Dynasty, "Buddha Says Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra", etc. There are many inscriptions in the Northern Dynasties. Among them, the Wei stele is the most remarkable. It is one of the models of Chinese script calligraphy. For example, "Images of Yang Dayan", "Images of Shipinggong", "Images of Sun Qiusheng" and "Images of Wei Lingzang", which are called "Four Grades of Longmen", are just a few of them. The number of epitaphs in the Northern Dynasties is even unprecedented. Representative works include "Etaphs of Yuanhuai", "Etaphs of Zhang Hei Nu", "Etaphs of Cui Jingyong", etc.

Most of the works handed down during the Southern and Northern Dynasties are unable to verify the author, but this shows the prosperous art of calligraphy. There are also many calligraphers with famous names and surnames. In the Southern Dynasty, there were Yang Xin, Fan Ye, Wang Sengqian, Xiao Ziyun, Xiao Yan, Tao Hongjing, etc.; in the Northern Dynasty, there were Cui Hao, Zheng Daozhao, Zhao Wenyuan, and Wang Changru. Among these people, Xiao Yan was the founding emperor of Liang in the Southern Dynasties and was a famous emperor calligrapher; Fan Ye, Wang Sengru, and Xiao Ziyun were writers, and Tao Hongjing was a medical scientist. The calligraphy of the Southern and Northern Dynasties directly influenced the style of calligraphy in the Sui and Tang Dynasties. The calligraphers Zhiyong, Ouyang Xun, and Yu Shinan in the Sui and Tang dynasties directly adopted the inscriptions of the Southern and Northern Dynasties. In the Qing Dynasty, a genre of "Steleology" that respected the inscriptions and epitaphs of the Southern and Northern Dynasties emerged.

5. Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties

The Sui and Tang dynasties are another long-lasting period of great unification since the Qin and Han dynasties in Chinese history. In many respects, this period also reached another peak since the Qin and Han dynasties. The imperial examination system, as the main system for selecting officials, was formally established in the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Intellectuals, regardless of their background, could enter official positions through imperial examinations. In terms of literature, poems include "Li Du's poems for eternity", and essays include "Wen Qi's decline in eight generations". Similarly, the art of calligraphy, which mainly uses poems as text content, has also been loved and practiced by many scholars.

The Sui Dynasty was established for a short period of time, and there are many factors inheriting the calligraphy of the Southern and Northern Dynasties in terms of style. However, the regular script of the Sui Dynasty has gradually become more regular and regular as a whole, and shows the atmosphere of integrating the different styles of the Southern and Northern Dynasties. Zhiyong was a representative of calligraphy in the Sui Dynasty, and his calligraphy had a deep influence on Yu Shinan, one of the four schools in the early Tang Dynasty. His masterpiece "Thousand Characters of Real Grass", not only did few people learn calligraphy in the Tang Dynasty not copy it, but it is also one of the commonly used templates for people to learn regular script and cursive script. The inscriptions and epitaphs of the Sui Dynasty are represented by "Dong Meiren's Epitaph", which is considered to be the works of the Northern Wei Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty.

Tang Dynasty-Moonlight Sticker

Tang Taizong Li Shimin liked calligraphy very much, especially the works of Wang Xizhi. He used to collect a lot of money for the book of the king, and he buried the "Lanting Preface" in Zhaoling after his death. His preference contributed to the prosperity of the calligraphy art of the Tang Dynasty, and the calligraphy style of Wang Xi's school was able to occupy a mainstream position in the history of calligraphy for a long time, and it was also inseparable from Li Shimin's respect for Wang Shu. Li Shimin's own calligraphy has also been praised by later generations. His running script work "Jinci Inscription" is the earliest running script inscription discovered.

The Tang dynasty's achievements in regular script are the most respected by later generations. "Tang Kai" is known for its rigorous and rigorous overall style. It is juxtaposed with "Qin seal" and "Han Li" in the history of Chinese calligraphy. It is one of the models of handwritten Chinese characters. There were many calligraphers in the Tang Dynasty who were good at regular script and had a profound influence on later generations. Yu Shinan, Chu Suiliang, Ouyang Xun, and Xue Ji also called the "Four Schools of the Early Tang Dynasty" and they were all masters of regular script writing. Yan Zhenqing’s regular script is called "Yan Ti". His previous regular script style is mostly characterized by "skinny", while Yan Ti appears to be full of bones and strong pen. Therefore, he is also regarded as the reformer of regular script and the successor to Wang Xizhi in the history of calligraphy. The most influential master ever. Liu Gongquan is also a regular script master, and he is called "Yan Liu" together with Yan Zhenqing; his regular script is called "Liu Ti", and it is also one of the most popular regular script fonts.

The achievements of calligraphy in the Tang Dynasty are multifaceted. In addition to regular script, there are also many calligraphers and works produced in cursive, running and seal script. Zhang Xu and Huai Su were called "Dian Zhang Zui Su", and they were the two most famous cursive masters in the Tang Dynasty. They created the most swaying "crazy grass" in cursive script. During the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty, Zhang Xu's cursive script and Li Bai's poems, and Pei Min's sword dance were also called "Three Wonders". In addition, Li Yong's inscriptions in running script, Li Yangbing's seal inscriptions, and Sun Guoting's cursive "Book Genesis" are all very famous works.

In calligraphy theory, the Tang Dynasty was also fruitful: Sun Guoting's "Shupu" is not only a complete calligraphy work, but also a systematic calligraphy theory work. Ouyang Xun's "Thirty-Six Laws" mainly elaborated on the gesture and structure of calligraphy. Yan Zhenqing's "Twelve Intentions of Zhang Changshi Brushwork" embodies the comprehensiveness of Zhang Xu's calligraphy accomplishment, and also illustrates the theoretical inheritance of calligraphers in the Tang Dynasty. Zhang Huai-wan was the most knowledgeable calligraphy theorist at the time. He authored "Book Discussion", "Shu Duan", "Character Theory", "Six Types of Calligraphy", etc., especially "Shu Duan" is the most famous theoretical work in the history of calligraphy One, mainly expounds the invention and evolution of various scripts of Chinese characters, and commented on more than 120 calligraphers from the Qin and Han Dynasties to the time. "Fashu Yaolu" compiled by Zhang Yanyuan is a collection of Chinese calligraphy theory works, which collected more than 30 books on calligraphy theory in China from the Eastern Han Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty and Yuanhe period.

The calligraphy of the Tang Dynasty is a peak since the Jin Dynasty. Therefore, later generations are often referred to as "Jin and Tang". Later, many people who learned calligraphy first started with the Tang people and learned from Yan, Ou, Chu, Yu and others. Dating back to the Jin people, directly adopted the "two kings". On the whole, the calligraphy of the Tang Dynasty advocated the law. For those who learn calligraphy in later generations, there are rules and methods to be based on. On the other hand, the excessive emphasis on the law will inhibit people's creative exercise and cause some negative effects.

After the fall of the Tang Dynasty, Chinese history once again appeared divided and divided, which lasted for more than half a century (907-960). In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, there were constant wars, people's livelihoods were declining, and the atmosphere was swept away. Later, Su Shi commented on the calligraphy creation of this period: Yang Gongning’s style, magnificent handwriting, with the'two kings' and Yan Liu. This is truly a master of the book, and is not the one lost in the times.” Due to the influence of politics and economy, the calligraphy creation of the Five Dynasties and Ten Countries was relatively deserted. . Generally inherited the calligraphy style of the Tang Dynasty, but has changed. The representative Yang Ningshi himself was a scholar of the Tang Dynasty. He studied calligraphy from Ouyang Xun and Yan Zhenqing in his early years, and later adopted the father and son of King Xi. The style of calligraphy has changed from rules to relaxed, which is refreshing. Most calligraphers in the Song Dynasty spoke highly of Yang Ningshi, so Yang Ningshi played a very obvious role in linking the past and the future between the Tang and Song calligraphy. Yang Ningshi's masterpiece "Liu Hua Tie" has become a precedent in the Song Dynasty calligraphy advocating "interest".

6. Song Dynasty and Liao Jin

In 960 AD, Zhao Kuangyin established the Song Dynasty, which ended the division and melee during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The Song Dynasty established the country for more than 300 years (960-1279), and society was relatively stable for most of the period. Due to the imperial government's policy of "emphasizing civil and military affairs", the Song Dynasty often could not resist the intrusion of the northern regime in military terms, but achieved high achievements in literature, art, technology, and philosophy.

In the early Song Dynasty, continuous wars caused damage to the people's livelihood. Yu Xuwei. Song Taizu was a typical soldier from a military background. Although the minister's suggestion implemented a system that emphasized the rule of civil officials, the prosperity of literature and art did not happen overnight. The writer Ouyang Xiu once sighed: "The prosperity of books is not in the Tang, and the abolition of books is not in the present." But soon the situation changed. Cai Xiang, Su Shi, Huang Tingjian and Mi Fu appeared one after another, and they were collectively referred to by later generations. "Song Sijia", Song Dynasty calligraphy became brilliant for a while.

Faced with the calligraphy achievements of the Tang Dynasty, the calligraphers of the Song Dynasty made changes and breakthroughs. When Su Shi summarized his calligraphy characteristics, he said, "I can't make calligraphy, so I can't make stippling." Contrary to the Tang Dynasty calligraphy advocating method, he came with his own hands and pursued his own free creation. Huang Tingjian studied Zhouyue in his early years, and his tackiness was not removed. Later, he learned from Su Shi, "it is the writing of the ancients", and is good at running and cursive script, and is as famous as Su Shi. Mi Fu has used the deepest kung fu in inheriting the tradition, claiming that his calligraphy is "collection of ancient characters". He first studied the Yan, Liu, Ou, and Chu families of the Tang dynasty, and then accepted Su Shi’s suggestion to learn the calligraphy of the Jin Dynasty. This experience of transferring to Yiduo teacher enables him to innovate on the basis of inheriting tradition. His calligraphy is a combination of traditional methods and his own personality. Therefore, Ming Dynasty calligrapher Dong Qichang said in his "Painting Zen Room Essay", "I have a taste of the rice character, thinking that the Song Dynasty is the first, after all, it is above Dongpo", He is highly respected for his calligraphy. Cai Xiang's calligraphy appears to be inadequate for innovation due to his strict adherence to the laws of the Jin and Tang Dynasties, but he has the longest generation and comprehensive calligraphy achievements, and is a key figure of transitional nature.

Warring States-Chu Jian

In addition to the "Song Sijia", many literati, ministers and emperors of the Song Dynasty were also good at calligraphy. For example, Ouyang Xiu, Fan Zhongyan, Cai Jing, Song Huizong Zhao Ji, Song Gaozong Zhao Gou, Qin Hui, Yue Fei, Fan Chengda, Lu You, Zhang Xiaoxiang, Zhu Xi, Jiang Kui, Wen Tianxiang, etc. Among them, Zhao Ji of Song Huizong is particularly worth mentioning. His regular script is thin and straight, self-contained, and is called "thin gold body" by later generations. The development of Chinese calligraphy in the Song Dynasty has already had the peaks of the Jin and Tang dynasties. Song people are faced with a rich heritage of calligraphy works to be sorted out and inherited, and their achievements in this area are also considerable. The "Chunhua Pavilion", which was recorded in 922 AD (the third year of Emperor Taizong's Chunhua in the Song Dynasty), is the earliest collection of calligraphy in the history of Chinese calligraphy and is known as the "ancestor of the calligraphy". "Chunhua Ge Tie" contains more than 400 works by more than 100 calligraphers from the three dynasties to the Tang Dynasty. The original prints are hidden in the royal family and the homes of the princes and ministers. Later, they were introduced into the folk in the form of reprints and caused other The appearance of a large number of calligraphy series has a profound impact on later generations. From then on, all kinds of calligraphy started with "Chunhua Ge Tie", which became a model for people to learn calligraphy. This dominance of "calligraphy" was not broken until the rise of "Tie Xue" in the Qing Dynasty.

Liao, Xixia, and Jin were all ethnic minority regimes side by side with the Song Dynasty. The predecessor of Liao, the Khitan, was founded before the Northern Song Dynasty, while the founding of Jin and Xixia predates the Southern Song Dynasty. These regimes often have wars with the Song Dynasty regime of the Han nationality, but they are all affected by the Han culture to varying degrees in terms of culture. The Khitan script of the Liao Dynasty was created with reference to Chinese characters, but it was only popular among the Khitan people, and most of the ruling class of the Liao Dynasty knew Chinese, so the Chinese character culture was also respected in the Liao Dynasty, but despite this, the Liao Dynasty was not well-known Calligraphers and works are handed down. The situation in Xixia and Jin was similar to that of the Liao Dynasty. Because their writings only prevailed among their own people, after the demise of the regime they established, their ethnic writings gradually became unused, let alone literary inheritance.

7. Yuan Dynasty and Ming Dynasty

The Yuan Dynasty established by the Mongolian Kublai Khan eliminated the last resistance of the Southern Song Dynasty in 1279 and unified China. The Yuan Dynasty's military strength gave it a vast territory, but it was able to eliminate interference from foreign aggressions and was committed to economic and cultural development. The Yuan Dynasty restored the imperial examination system at the beginning of its reign, respecting Confucius, a representative of Han culture. However, under the racial system implemented in the Yuan Dynasty, ordinary Han people suffered discrimination and unequal treatment. Many Han scholars were unable to make a difference in politics, so they concentrated on painting and calligraphy; on the other hand, intellectuals of other ethnic groups were also influenced by them, and some ethnic calligraphers appeared.

The most representative calligrapher of the Yuan Dynasty was Zhao Mengfu, who was born in the Zhao Song clan, but he was an official in the Yuan Dynasty. Zhao Mengfu's achievements in calligraphy are very comprehensive. The seal script is really fine in all styles, especially his regular script, which is elegant and beautiful in style. He is called "Zhao Ti", which is similar to Yan Zhenqing's "Yan Ti", Liu Gongquan's "Liu Ti", and Ouyang Xun's "European style" has the same name and is still one of the most popular models of regular script.

Zhao Mengfu wrote his own seven poems. His words are: The body shape resembles a crane after being refined, thousands of Panasonic two scriptures. I came to ask nothing more, the cloud is in the blue sky and the water is in the bottle. Ziang is an old book in the atrium.

Zhao Mengfu advocated that learning calligraphy should draw on the strengths of the ancients. Under his influence, most scholars in the Yuan Dynasty studied calligraphy with "retro" as the preacher. On the one hand, the calligraphers of the Yuan Dynasty took the works of the Jin and Tang people as examples and paid attention to calligraphy. The training of basic skills is quite different from the Song people’s calligraphy advocating "intentional creation"; on the other hand, similar to Zhao Mengfu’s own achievements, the calligraphy works of the Yuan Dynasty also show a diversity different from the previous ones. Calligraphers with high accomplishments appeared in cursive script, and the achievements of regular script were also higher than those of Song Dynasty. What's more rare is that calligraphers who have worked hard to study the almost extinct ancient calligraphy like Zhang Cao and have made considerable achievements.

Teacher Lin Lan's work

Xian Yushu and Zhao Mengfu have the same names, but they have a little influence, especially good at cursive and cursive script. Zhao Mengfu said: "Yu and Boji's classmates in cursive script, Boji has gone far beyond Yu, and tried his best to chase after him. Pu Neng Shu, the so-called no Buddha is called Zun Er." Except for Zhao Mengfu's self-effacement, it can also be seen that Xian Yushu has achieved high cursive script. Deng Wen, a calligrapher of their time, was good at Zhang Cao in principle and was one of the rare masters who studied this kind of ancient calligraphy. Kang Lisang was a little later than Zhao Mengfu, and he was also famous for cursive script. He is a representative of ethnic minority calligraphers.

In 1368 AD, Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed himself emperor in Yingtianfu and established the Ming Dynasty. In the autumn of the same year, the Ming Dynasty general Xu Da conquered the capital and ended the Yuan Dynasty's rule in the Central Plains. Zhu Yuanzhang was born at the bottom of the society and has a deep understanding of the suffering of the people. In the early Ming Dynasty, he adopted the policy of recuperation and rejuvenation of light and low taxes, which improved the economy and people's livelihood. Soon, the system of selecting officials through imperial examinations was restored, and later the imperial examinations were required to be answered in the form of eight-part essays.

The practice of eight-legged selection of scholars not only has specific requirements for the format of the article, but also has a clear direction for the style of the font used to write the article, which is to advocate "Taige style." The Taige style is not based on the work of a certain calligrapher, but the calligraphy style promoted by the Ming Dynasty, that is, a dignified, graceful, standardized and neat style. Since the imperial examination was the main way for ordinary scholars to enter official positions, writing eight-part essays and practicing Taiwanese style became compulsory courses for them. The result of advocating Taige style is to create a unique calligraphy style without individuality. Affected by this, in the early Ming Dynasty, except for a few calligraphers such as Song Ke who were good at Zhangcao, the overall standard was not high, and there were no calligraphers who could represent the achievements of Ming Dynasty calligraphy.

In the mid-Ming Dynasty, the calligraphy of literati represented by the four schools of Wuzhong—Zhu Yunming, Wen Zhengming, Tang Yin and Wang Chong—showed the calligraphy achievements of this period. Zhu Yunming, Wen Zhengming, and Tang Yin were all talents of the time, and they moved the world with their poetry names. Wen and Tang were also giants in painting, and Wang Chong was good at seal cutting. These people have comprehensive artistic accomplishments and pursue individuality in calligraphy style, which is completely different from the Taige style calligraphy required for official career. Zhu Yunming’s cursive writing achievement is the highest, and Zhu Hegeng of the Qing Dynasty commented on him in "Lin Chi Xin Jie": "I wish that the great grass of the Jingzhao has won the theology of the right army, and sometimes shows an aura; the grass is pure and peaceful, and the lines are dense. Fufeng is to Xiao Yuan, and Shu is almost comparable to Chu Gong." Wen Zhengming's lower case name moved domestically, and his representative work "Thousand Characters" is considered to be comparable to Wang Xizhi's "Sacred Religion Preface". Tang Yin's calligraphy was concealed by the name of the painting, mainly from Zhao Mengfu, but his writing skills were slightly weaker. In his later years, Wang Chong's calligraphy was clever and clumsy, and he was a unique style. Generally speaking, they learn calligraphy from recent calligraphers, learning from Zhao Mengfu, Su Shi, Huang Tingjian, Mi Fu and others, and then follow the Tang dynasty master Chu Suiliang, Yu Shinan, Ouyang Xun, Yan Zhenqing, and finally take the two kings of the law, Zhong Yao, and can form his own unique style. This approach of learning from near to far is still widely imitated by people.

The writing style of the late Ming Dynasty changed again, advocating the development of individuality, the most famous is "South Dongbei Wang". "Dong" is Dong Qichang. He used to be the Shangshu of the Ministry of Rites of Nanjing and the Crown Prince Taibao. He had a prosperous career and was the leader of the literary world at that time. Dong Qichang has a very comprehensive artistic accomplishment. He has achieved high achievements in calligraphy and painting. He is good at appraisal and collection of calligraphy and calligraphy, and is proficient in Zen. His calligraphy integrates the styles of the previous dynasties and can be self-contained. His calligraphy is elegant and ethereal, the layout is sparse and well-proportioned, and the ink is wet and the shades vary. It is considered to be "the master of ancient methods." In the early Qing Dynasty, the emperors of the Kangxi and Qianlong dynasties admired Dong Qichang's calligraphy very much, so that most of the scholars who were pursuing fame at that time studied Dongshu for official posts. "Wang" is Wang Duo, also known as "Magic Pen King Duo". Wang Duo is good at cursive and magnificent brushwork. His mad cursive wins with momentum, which is quite different from the Wei and Jin style. After the death of the Ming Dynasty, Wang Duo served in the Qing court, so the world has devalued his character, but his calligraphy is highly respected in Japan, so that "the queen wins the first king" (Wang Duo beats Wang Xizhi).

In the Ming Dynasty, especially in the late Ming Dynasty, calligraphy has developed into an independent art. Literati scholars encountered difficulties in their official careers, or were unwilling to go to official positions at first, and turned to painting and calligraphy and other arts. Some even made a living by selling books and paintings. Most of them started from learning the works of the previous generations, and later formed their own style. Each person can develop his individuality according to his personal preference. By the end of the Ming Dynasty, represented by Dong Qichang, this development path had reached its peak, until the rise of tablet studies in the Qing Dynasty.

8. Qing Dynasty and Republic of China

In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, many calligraphers gradually gave up learning the style of calligraphy from the Jin and Tang dynasties, and instead learned the older Han Dynasty stele inscriptions. The Han Li stele inscriptions belonged to the rule of the left and the right, the law was strict, and it was the official standard script. Jinnong was a famous calligrapher in the early Qing Dynasty. His original name was Sinong, with the word Shoumen, and Jijin, with the name Dongxin. Although Jinnong is famous for selling calligraphy and painting, he is also good at calligraphy. His official script is ancient and thick, and the regular script has his own style, and he calls himself "lacquer book". His representative work is "Official Book Poems". Zheng Xie, whose name is Kerou, is called Banqiao. He is a native of Xinghua County in Yangzhou Prefecture. He is one of the "Eight Monsters of Yangzhou". He attaches great importance to the combination of poetry, calligraphy, and painting, using poetry and prose as the topic of painting, and interspersed in the picture to form an inseparable part. [1] Zheng Yan, Zi Ruqi, Hao Taniguchi, was born in Shangyuan, Jiangsu. Mainly engaged in poetry, good calligraphy, fine seal cutting, Lin Han stele for more than 30 years, learn from the strengths of the Han stele, became a famous official script writer in the Qing Dynasty.

In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, calligraphy was influenced by textual research, and calligraphers pursued seal scripts that were more ancient. As a result, seal and official script styles were revived, and calligraphers even used the lines of seal and official calligraphy to write regular script or running script. This new style of calligraphy was called "Stele Study".

9. Today's calligraphy

In today's diversified calligraphy world, the art of calligraphy has been sublimated to a high level of diversified and humanized aesthetic concepts. This is undoubtedly a big step. The modernity of calligraphy does not simply depend on the weirdness and exaggeration of the external appearance of calligraphy art expressions, structures, lines, etc., but also enhances the internal cultivation of the calligrapher and the humanization and academicization of the pen and ink taste, and strives to improve the application of Chinese characters. Skills such as strokes, composition, and composition. Only in this way can it play a role in promoting the benign inheritance and development of Chinese calligraphy.

➤Inheritance meaning

Chinese calligraphy uses pen, ink, paper, etc. as the main tools and materials. It uses Chinese characters to complete the practical function of information exchange. At the same time, it integrates people's thinking on nature, society, and life with unique modeling symbols and rhythm of pen and ink. An artistic practice that reflects the unique Chinese thinking, personality, and temperament. Chinese calligraphy has developed with the emergence and evolution of Chinese characters. After more than 3,000 years of development, it has become a representative symbol of Chinese culture.

Teacher Lin Lan, in particular, has been studying and practicing Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting since he was a child, learning the essence of the ancients and summing up his lifelong experience, he founded the "Lin Lan Calligraphy and Calligraphy Education" and trained batches of students of different ages. Not only Chinese people like it, but even many foreigners make a special trip to find teacher Lin Lan, learn to write Chinese characters, learn to draw Chinese painting, Lin Lan calligraphy and calligraphy education welcome you!

Wonderful preview for the next issue:

The first episode: Lin Lan’s calligraphy and painting education, through the mystery of Chinese calligraphy history over five thousand years, pre-Qin and Qin dynasties calligraphy

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