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Eight-character Couplet in Seal Script (New window) Seven-character Couplet in Clerical Script (New window)  
   
   
   
   
   
 

Eight-character Couplet in Seal Script
Zhang Huiyan (1761-1802), Qing dynasty
Hanging scroll, ink on paper, 124.1 x 29.5 cm

Contemporaries of Zhang Huiyan (style name Gaowen) respectfully called him “Mr. Mingke.” A native of Wujin in Jiangsu, in his early years he studied archaic poetry and other forms of verse, later turning to delve in the study of the Classics. Following Hui Dong (1697-1758), he traced the contents of the Book of Changes, achieving renown in this classic with his representative work, Yu’s Ebb and Flow in the Book of Changes. In calligraphy, Zhang also excelled at seal script. This couplet, which mentions finding joy in unraveling history via the Classics to connect the present with the past, has fine sharp strokes like iron wires a strong and archaic effect. This work was donated to the National Palace Museum by Messrs. Tann Boyu and Tann Jifu.

Seven-character Couplet in Clerical Script
Yu Yue (1821-1907), Qing dynasty
Hanging scroll, ink on paper, 133 x 31.8 cm

Yu Yue (style name Yinfu, sobriquet Quyuan), a native of Deqing in Zhejiang, was a Presented Scholar of 1850 and served up to the post of Education Director of Henan. After he retired to reclusion from official life, he devoted himself to scholarly efforts, giving lectures for more than 30 years at the School for the Classics. His book on Examples of Disputable Problems in Old Texts reveals the level of his accomplishments in studying the Classics. Yu Yue was also fond of Han dynasty clerical script and practiced it for many years, creating an elegantly archaic personal manner. The text of this couplet is full of harmony, revealing the depth of Yu’s cultivation. This work was donated to the National Palace Museum by Mr. Lin Tsung-i.

 
  Clerical Script (New window)  
  Clerical Script
Chen Li (1810-1882), Qing dynasty
Horizontal scroll, ink on paper, 41.3 x 125.8 cm

Contemporaries respectfully referred to Chen Li (style names Lanfu and Lanpu) as “Mr. Dongshu.” Native to Panyu in Guangdong, before the age of 30 he pursued the civil service exams, but afterwards tirelessly devoted himself to writing and teaching, lecturing over his career at the Xuehai (“Sea of Studies”) Hall and Jupo School. He was praised for such writings as Record of Studies by Dongshu and Studies on Qieyun. Chen Li was also accomplished in regular, cursive, seal, and cursive scripts. In this horizontal scroll of clerical script, the manner is lush and regulated. The brushwork was inspired by the Han dynasty “Yiying Stele” with restraint to the extended strokes for a more subdued quality. This work was donated to the National Palace Museum by Mr. Chen Chih-mai.