Specific Artists

    While there are so many artists using Chinese styles and calligraphy, I have chosen a few key artists and possibly a few that I am particular to. BEWARE: Some of the clickable links to images are very large. They may take a while to load, but they do have some interesting work on them, so please be patient.

Wang XiZhi or Wang Hsi-chih
(303-379 C.E.)

    Only a few of his original and preserved pieces remain in totality today. Most were stone with carvings which many have used to create rubbing and learn the ancient art of calligraphy from. Done during the dynasty of the Eastern Jin, these writings are about 1600 years old. He laid the groundwork for what calligraphy is today. The brushstrokes are nearly invisible and leads us to believe the brushes were loaded with inks... no strokes are visible.

 The Full Text of Lanting
Untitled 1
Untitled 2


Oyang Xun or Ouyang Chu
(557-641 C.E.)

    Created during the Tang Dynasty, these images still have impeccable clarity.

 Stone Rubbings

Liu GongQuan or Liu Kung-chuan
Tang Dynasty (778-865 C.E.)

 Stone Rubbings

Mi Fei or Mei Fei
Northern Song Dynasty (1051-1107 C.E.)

 Panaorama View
Rubbings from the Forest of Steles, Bailin
 The Crane and the Tortoise
Sample from the Story of Mulan

Below are the translations of two of MeiFei's stories.

(Translation for the The Crane and the Tortoise is as follows)

"The tortoise and the crane both enjoy long lives;
Only shell and feathers distinguish them.
Each in his own way a spirited being,
As friends they know not their differences.
The crane loves to fly in hight places;
The tortoise is weary of dragging its tail.
Holding between them a bamboo pole in their mouths,
They soar into the cloudy heavens.
I tell you, be careful, do not speak:
One word and I'll fall into a muddy ditch!"

(National Palace Museum, Taipei)

This story of Mulan is about a girl who pretends to be a man in order to fight in the Chinese army for her father - as he was too old.

Tsiek tsiek and again tsiek tsiek,
Mu-lan weaves, facing the door.
You don't hear the shuttle's sound,
You only hear Daughter's sighs.
They ask Daughter who's in her heart,
They ask Daughter who's on her mind.
"No one is on Daughter's heart,
No one is on Daughter's mind.
Last night I saw the draft posters,
The Khan is calling many troops,
The army list is in twelve scrolls,
On every scroll there's Father's name.
Father has no grown-up son,
Mu-lan has no elder brother.
I want to buy a saddle and horse,
And serve in the army in Father's place."

In the East Market she buys a spirited horse,
In the West Market she buys a saddle,
In the South Market she buys a bridle,
In the North Market she buys a long whip.
At dawn she takes leave of Father and Mother,
In the evening camps on the Yellow River's bank.
She doesn't hear the sound of Father and Mother calling,
She only hears the Yellow River's flowing water cry tsien tsien.

At dawn she takes leave of the Yellow River,
In the evening she arrives at Black Mountain.
She doesn't hear the sound of Father and Mother calling,
She only hears Mount Yen's nomad horses cry tsiu tsiu.
She goes ten thousand miles on the business of war,
She crosses passes and mountains like flying.
Northern gusts carry the rattle of army pots,
Chilly light shines on iron armor.
Generals die in a hundred battles,
Stout soldiers return after ten years.

On her return she sees the Son of Heaven,
The Son of Heaven sits in the Splendid Hall.
He gives out promotions in twelve ranks
And prizes of a hundred thousand and more.
The Khan asks her what she desires.
"Mu-lan has no use for a minister's post.
I wish to ride a swift mount
To take me back to my home."

When Father and Mother hear Daughter is coming
They go outside the wall to meet her, leaning on each other.
When Elder Sister hears Younger Sister is coming
She fixes her rouge, facing the door.
When Little Brother hears Elder Sister is coming
He whets the knife, quick quick, for pig and sheep.
"I open the door to my east chamber,
I sit on my couch in the west room,
I take off my wartime gown
And put on my old-time clothes."
Facing the window she fixes her cloudlike hair,
Hanging up a mirror she dabs on yellow flower powder
She goes out the door and sees her comrades.
Her comrades are all amazed and perplexed.
Traveling together for twelve years
They didn't know Mu-lan was a girl.
"The he-hare's feet go hop and skip,
The she-hare's eyes are muddled and fuddled.
Two hares running side by side close to the ground,
How can they tell if I am he or she?"

From:The Flowering Plum and the Palace Lady:
Interpretations of Chinese Poetry 
By Han H. Frankel, Yale University Press, 1976. 

    These are a few of the more famous artists involving calligraphy before the 1300's. Obviously there are far to many to cover a vast amount, but the general idea here is similar.