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National Palace Museum

Calligraphy Masterpiece "Tan Yankai's Imitation of 'Record of the Ma-ku Immortal's Altar'" (in Chinese)

  • Editor: Lin Lina, Cheng Shu-Fang
    Written by: Cheng Shu-Fang, Tann Yi-ling
  • ISBN: 978-957-562-775-1
  • Price: NT$1000
  • Binding: hardcover
Tan Yankai (1879–1930), birth name Tan Baolu, style name Zu'an, and sobriquets Ciwei and Wuwei, was a native of Chaling, Hunan. He was a successful candidate in the imperial examination in 1904. Together with Hu Hanmin (1879–1936), Wu Zhihui (1865–1953), and Yu Youren (1879–1964), they are referred to as the "four master calligraphers in the Republic of China period." Most adapt at regular script, Tan's calligraphy style resembled that of Tang dynasty calligrapher Yan Zhenqing. Tan's calligraphy features both thick and thin structures as well as enriched, powerful, majestic, and concise strokes to engender a powerful yet calm feeling.

"Record of the Ma-ku Immortal's Altar," short for "Record of the Ma-ku Mountain Immortal's Altar at Nancheng, Fuzhou," is a representative work of Yan Zhenqing's regular-script calligraphy. It was written when Yan served as a prefectural governor in Fuzhou and is considered to be a masterpiece in the history of Chinese calligraphy. "Tan Yankai's Imitation of 'Record of the Ma-ku Immortal's Altar,'" made in Nov. 1921 when Tan was 43 years of age, fully shows the influence of Yan on Tan's calligraphy style. "Tan Yankai's Imitation of 'Record of the Ma-ku Immortal's Altar'" was donated by Mr. Jian Yun-jun to the National Palace Museum in 2013 and features characters in rare, two-inch large prints, making it the perfect model calligraphy for those who wish to learn Yan Zhenqing's calligraphy.
Calligraphy Masterpiece
Calligraphy Masterpiece