Friday, August 6, 2010
Ouyang Xun 欧阳询
As early as in the Sui Dynasty, Ouyang's calligraphy was widely known, and by the time of Tang Dynasty, as the man got older and his calligraphy got better, both the person and calligraphy had attained a high degree of perfection. His calligraphy was first influenced by the style of stele inscriptions in the Northern Dynasties and the Sui dynasty. Later he followed Wang Xizhi and Wang Xianzhi’s style and was the representative of their style in the Tang dynasty. He had also learned from Suo Jing’s calligraphy.
Ouyang Xun's calligraphy, largely kaishu (regular script), was known for its rigorous and grand strokes as well as its unique order and structure, and was called ‘Ou Style’ by later generations. His famous works of regular script include ‘Commemorative Stone Tablet for the Sweet Spring at the Jiucheng Palace’ (Jiucheng Gong) which is said to be the Best Regular Script in history and has become one of the best model calligraphy for learners of kaishu calligraphy. His well known works on walking or running script (xingshu) are Mengdian Tie and Zhanghan Tie. Besides being an expert in kaishu and xingshu, Ouyang also wrote excellent lishu (official script).
In Chinese calligraphy history, Ouyang Xun is one of the Four Masters of Early Tang Dynasty. His is also as one of the four best calligraphers of regular script in history. The other three are Yan Zhenqing, Liu Gongquan and Zhao Mengfu.