Top 10 calligraphy masterpieces of ancient China

By Xu Lin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 11, 2011
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 On Sichuan Silk(《蜀素帖》)

On Sichuan Silk, one of the 'top 10 calligraphy masterpieces of ancient China' by

On Sichuan Silk

The "On Sichuan Silk" is a treasured scroll of calligraphy composed and written by Mi Fu (1051-1108) in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Mi was an official and also a famous poet, painter, calligrapher and collector. Along with Su Shi, Huang Tingjian and Cai Xiang, he is known as one of the Four Masters of Calligraphy of the Song Dynasty.

This hand scroll of prized Sichuan silk was made in 1044 during the reign of Emperor Zhezong. The top and bottom grid lines were woven into the scroll with the vertical ones drawn in ink, indicating that this type of silk was especially made for calligraphy. The owner of this scroll asked renowned calligraphers to write on it, but none of them were confident to do it because writing on such materials needed perfect skills. He then encountered Mi Fu, who consented to write eight poems in running script. The date shown at the end of the scroll was the year 1088.

The work, 270.8 x 27.8 cm, consists of 658 characters in 71 lines, and is known as one of the most beautiful calligraphy works in China. It is now exhibited in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

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