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Title

Calligraphy


Artist

ZHU Nan

China

18th century -


About

Zhu Nan was a noted and recorded calligrapher in 18th century Qing China. This set of scrolls is executed in cursive script, with all the quiet drama, spontaneity and emotive variation that are characteristic of the style. They read (from right to left):

'The calligraphy of Wang Youjing (Wang Xizhi) of the Jin dynasty is unique and powerful, superior to any before and after him./ His brushwork is like a flying dragon and dancing phoenix, and resembles astonishing thunder and falling rocks./ It contains the vitality of expression, the spirit of the mountain and forest, and the beauty of the pavilion. Everything about it is so admirable./ His writing is so unique in history, it is treated as a great treasure. I wrote this to Ting Gui, my kindest brother, for your instruction [signed Zhu Nan].'

The phrase of 'Long Fei FengWu', flying dragon and dancing phoenix, was first used by famous Song Dynasty poet Su Shi(1037-1101). It is often used in Chinese to describe lively and vigorous flourishes in calligraphy.

The Chinese character for 'dragon' has evolved from oracle bones and bronze inscriptions to the two types of modern day writing (the simplified style or the more complicated style). Calligraphers throughout history also created their own styles when writing the character.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012


Details


Alternative title

(Calligraphy scrolls)


Place where the work was made

China


Date

18th century


Media categories

Painting , Calligraphy


Materials used

four hanging scrolls; ink on paper


Dimensions

30.5 x 128.0 cm each scroll


Signature & date

Signed., l.l. [of the last scroll] in Chinese, inscribed in black ink, " signed Zhu Nan."


Credit

Edward and Goldie Sternberg Chinese Art Purchase Fund 1992


Location

Not on display


Accession number

59.1992.a-d


Artist information

ZHU Nan

Works in the collection

1


Place

Where the work was made
China

Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Yin Cao, The Connoisseur and the Philanthropist: 30 years of the Sternberg Collection, 'Chinese Art', pg. 12-23, Sydney, 31 Jan 2014, 20 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 5 (illus.), 6.

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Landscape Painting', Sydney, 2003, 157 (colour illus.).