Top 10 calligraphy masterpieces of ancient China

By Xu Lin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 11, 2011
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 Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew(《祭侄文稿》)

Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew, one of the 'top 10 calligraphy masterpieces of ancient China' by

Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew

The "Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew" was written by Yan Zhenqing in the year of 758, to memorize his nephew Yan Jiming and his cousin Yan Gaoqing, who died in the rebellion of An Lushan. 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 "Cold Food Observance" by Su Shi.

Yan Zhenqing (709–785) was a leading Chinese calligrapher and a loyal governor of the Tang Dynasty. His artistic accomplishment in Chinese calligraphy parallels the greatest master calligraphers throughout the history, and his calligraphy style, Yan, is imitated by many calligraphy lovers today.

The work, 75.5 x 28.2 cm, consists of 234 characters in 23 lines. It shows Yan's grief and anger due to the death of his relatives. They devoted their lives for the country, but the Tang armies didn't come to rescue them when the rebel forces conquered the area.

The work is exhibited in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

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