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Chinese Calligraphy Masters

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Chinese Calligraphy Masters

Here, we shall list a few noted Chinese calligraphy masters.

Wang Xizhi 王羲之

Born in Linqin county in Shandong province, he lived in present-day Shaoxing, Zhejiang, most of his life. He learned from calligraphy from Wei Shuo, a master, particularly of the Chinese Regular Script. Wang Xizhi is one of the most celebrated Chinese calligraphy masters in Chinese history. He is said be the exemplar of the high art of calligraphy, a master of every form but particularly of the semi-cursive script (xingshu Chinese “行书”). Unfortunately, none of his original works remain today.

His most famous work is the "Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion" (Chinese: 兰亭序; Hanyu Pinyin: Lán Tíng Xù), the preface of a collection of poems written by a number of poets when gathering at Lan Ting near the town of Shaoxing in Zhejiang for the Spring Purification Festival). The original is lost (also said to be buried in the tomb of one of the Chinese emperors), but there is a number of fine tracing copies and rubbings.

Wang Xianzhi 王獻之

Wang Xianzhi is one of the famous Chinese calligraphy masters of the Eastern Jin Dynasty.

The seventh and youngest son of the famed Wang Xizhi, Wang Xianzhi inherited his father's talent for the art, although his siblings were all notable Chinese calligraphy masters. His style is more fluid than his father's, demonstrating a response and reaction against Wang Xizhi's calligraphy. Amongst his innovations is the one-stroke cursive script (caoshu), which blends all characters in the writing in a single stroke. Until the Tang Dynasty his influence rivalled and even surpassed that of his father.

Huai Su 懷素

Huai Su was one of the two great Kuangcao calligraphers of the Tang Dynasty, a native of Tanzhou (present-day Changsha, Hunan Province). He became a monk in his childhood. He was more than 20 years younger than Zhang Xu (the other Kuangcao calligrapher) and learned from Zhang Xu's and Yan Zhenqing's work. His style was mannerly and bold. The famous Tang Dynasty poets Li Bai and Qian Qi spoke highly of his calligraphy works.

Please also see Chinese Symbols (Customized) by our calligraphers and information on "Learn Chinese Characters"

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