Top 10 calligraphy masterpieces of ancient China

By Xu Lin
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 In Memory of Confucius in Dream (《仲尼梦奠帖》)

In Memory of Confucius in Dream, one of the 'top 10 calligraphy masterpieces of ancient China' by

In Memory of Confucius in Dream

"In Memory of Confucius in Dream" is a representative work of Ouyang Xun (557-641), a Confucian scholar and imperial calligrapher of the early Tang Dynasty (618-907). He is known as one of the Four Great Calligraphers of the Early Tang Period. The other three are Xue Ji, Chu Suiliang and Yu Shinan.

The work, 33.6 x 25.5 cm, consists of 78 characters in nine lines. It is typical of writings of Ouyang in his later years and is the most outstanding piece among his four works that still exist today. It is known as the best regular-script calligraphy in China. It very much resembles the "Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion" of Wang Xizhi, which shows that Ouyang learned from Wang style but also had improvements of his own.

The works is now exhibited in the Liaoning Provincial Museum in Shenyang.

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