Chin dynasty AD265-420

Wang Xizhi (303-361)

Three Passages: Ping’an, Heru, and Fengju

Chin dynasty AD265-420

Wang Xizhi (303-361)

Three Passages: Ping’an, Heru, and Fengju

Handscroll, ink on paper, 24.7 x 47.3 cm

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. During the history of their circulation, "Ping'an" lost its last two lines and "Fengru" became an independent work. 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.
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