Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wang Xizhi

Wang Xizhi was a Chinese calligrapher, traditionally referred to as the Sage of Calligraphy .

Born in , he spent most of his life in the present-day . He learned the art of calligraphy from Wei Shuo. He excelled in every script but particularly in the semi-cursive script. Unfortunately, none of his original works remains today.

His most famous work is the , the preface of a collection of poems written by a number of poets when gathering at Lanting near the town of Shaoxing for the . The original is lost, but there are a number of fine tracing copies and rubbings. Wikisource has .

Wang Xizhi is particularly remembered for one of his hobbies — rearing . Legend has it that he learnt the key of how to turn his wrist while writing by observing how the geese move their necks.

Wang Xizhi had seven children, all of whom were notable calligraphers. The most distinguished one was his youngest son, Wang Xianzhi.

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