Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wang Xun and His Letter to Boyuan 王询传世书法《伯远帖》
Wang Xizhi (303-361) and his son Xianzhi (344-386), who had made the greatest achievement, were the two representatives among the most influential calligraphers in this period.
Another Wang who left his mark in the calligraphy history was Wang Xun (349-400). He was one of three master calligraphers praised by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty as the sanxi, or three rarities. The other two were Wang Xizhi and Wang Xianzhi.
Wang Xun was the grandson of Wang Dao, a prime minister of a Jin dynasty and son of Wang Qia, a famous painter. His was also nephew of Wang Xizhi. He was conferred the Marquis of Dongting, and held a number of high posts in government, such as Kingdom Defence General, Deputy Chief of Wu, Deputy Chief State Secretary and Chief State Secretary.
Wang Xun excelled at running-cursive script. In the Southern Song imperial catalogue The Calligraphy Catalogue of the Xuanhe Period (1119-1125) (Xuanhe Shupu), he was honoured as ‘the great master of cursive script’.
His masterpiece Letter to Boyuan, written in an easy and free style, is the only authentic signed calligraphic work from the Jin dynasty. When the famous calligrapher Dong Qichang of Ming Dynasty saw the work in Chang-an (currently Xi’an), he went wild with joy and wrote, ‘Wang’s calligraphy shows freedom of expression, it is simple but quietly elegant. This masterpiece I see here in Chang’an is really a rare beauty.’ ‘It is like seeing the free-spirited Jin people in front of my eyes.
他的《伯远帖》尽得悠游俊郎之风神，是晋朝传世书法作品中仅有的真品。明代董其昌于长安(今西安) 见到此帖后，欣喜若狂，题跋说：‘珣书潇洒古淡，长安所逢墨迹，此为尤物。’ ‘东晋风流，宛然在眼。’