K'uai-hsueh shih-ch'ing t'ieh
Wang Hsi-chih (ca. A.D. 307-365), Chin dynasty (A.D. 265-420)
Ink on paper. Semi-cursive script. Album leaf. 23.0 x 14.8 cm
Wang Hsi-chih, whose style name was I-shao, was a native of Lin-i in Shantung province. A precocious youth, he later held several high military posts, attaining the rank of General of the Right.
It is said he would practice calligraphy near a pool and was accustomed to washing his brush in its water; eventually the pool turned black with his ink. He is revered the patriarch of calligraphy and established calligraphy as one of the loftiest of all artistic pursuits in Chinese culture
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