Chinese Calligraphy By: Angelo Cordova
HistoryThe history of Chinese calligraphy. • Chinese calligraphy dates back to 4,000 years ago. The oldest language discovered is Jia Gu Wen. • Gin Shi Huang united the old China in 221 B.C. the official language used in the Qin dynasty was Xiao Zhuan. • The Han dynasty was when calligraphy first began to bloom. The Han dynasty brought some great calligraphers such as Li Shu, Cao Shu, Xing Shu, and Kai Shu. • The Ming dynasty was the worst period for calligraphy. From the Song dynasty to the Qing dynasty, the greatest calligraphy works works in paper were kept in house of the emperor family.
Four Treasuresthe four treasures of Chinese calligraphy. • Different from the pen we use for writing, the pen of the Chinese writing brush is soft and big. When the top of the Chinese writing brush is dipped in the ink, it sops up the ink and is ready to use. The amount of ink absorbed is important to Chinese calligraphy. • Ink sticks can be regarded as ink in solid state. Getting ink from the hard ink stick requires some physical labor, so ancient Chinese calligraphers had young boy attendants help them with this task. • Paper was invented by CaiLun in the Chinese Han Dynasty. The most famous paper used for Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting is rice paper, also named as Xuan paper after its origin – the ancient Xuan city. • Ink slab is the container used in Chinese calligraphy and painting for grinding dry ink (ink stick) and mixing it with water. Most of ink slabs are made of stone, but other materials such as pottery, brick and tile are also widely used.
Different StylesThe different Chinese calligraphy styles. • Jia Gu Wen • Jin Wen • Zhuan Shu • Li Shu • Cao Shu • Kai Shu • Zhen Shu • Xing Shu
Ancient Writing ToolsThe story of how the ancient Chinese calligraphy tools were invented. • In the history of China, there were three centers for making writing brushes: Hengshui, Xuancheng and Huzhou. But, now, besides these three cities, painting brushes produced in Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing and Chengdu are also very famous. However, the most famous ones will be Hubi and Houbi.