Top 10 calligraphy masterpieces of ancient China

By Xu Lin
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Cold Food Observance(《黄州寒食帖》)

Cold Food Observance, one of the 'top 10 calligraphy masterpieces of ancient China' by

Cold Food Observance

The "Cold Food Observance" was composed and written by Su Shi (1037–1101), a famous writer, poet, artist and calligrapher in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). This work is known as one of the three running script calligraphy masterpieces. The other two are the "Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion" by Wang Xizhi and the "Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew" by Yan Zhenqing.

Su held a variety of government positions as a scholar official. He was accused of literary slander because of having different political opinions from mainstream reformers. He wrote this poetry during exile to Huangzhou in 1082 after he was banished from the capital.

The work, 34.2 x 18.9 cm, consists of 129 characters in 17 lines, and contains two poems expressing the depressed state in his life after being degraded. The work is exhibited in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

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