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Regular Script - Copy and Practice Yan Zhenqing's Inscription on the Yan Qinli Tablet VCD

  • Copy and Practice Yan Zhenqing's Inscription on the Yan Qinli Tablet
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Regular Script: Copy and Practice Yan Zhenqing's Inscription on the Yan Qinli Tablet
- Coping and Practicing Calligraphy of Past Dynasties Series
Instructor: Li Hongzhi
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Published by Beijing Zhonglutongfang Audio-Visual Publishing House, 2005
Media: VCD
ISBN: 7880106928

The regular script or standard script, or in Chinese kaishu, also commonly known as standard regular, is the newest of the Chinese calligraphy styles (appearing by the Cao Wei dynasty ca. 200 CE and maturing stylistically around the 7th century), hence most common in modern writings and publications (after the non-calligraphic printing Song Ti). It is also occasionally known as true script (zhenshu) and standard script (zhengshu), formal script. It is simpler in structure and square in shape. To be specific, it has more standardized horizontal and vertical. The integral feature of regular script is neatness and orderliness, for which it is widely used and favored today. Regular script became popular in the period of Six Dynasties, and entered prosperity and boom in Tang Dynasty. Yang Zhenqing, Liu Gongquan, and Ouyang Xun were famous calligraphers of Tang Dynasty. Together with Zhao Mengfu in Yuan Dynasty, they were honored together "Four Masters of Calligraphy" in Chinese history. Their works include Yanqin Rite Tablet and Record of Damagu Divine Altar of Yan’s style featuring sturdiness; Mysterious Pagoda and Stele of Wonderful Strategies of Liu’s style featuring strength and power; Danba Tablet, Miaoyan Temple Tablet, and Scripture on the Pagoda of Huadu Temple of Meng’s style featuring elegance and slenderness.

Yan Zhenqing (709 - 785) was a Tang minister and calligrapher, born into a prestigious family, a native of Linyi of present-day Shandong Province. As a representative of the middle Tang Dynasty, his regular script, with unique style and handwriting, is robust, muscular and grand and known as yanti (Yan style) to later generations.

The stone tablet was written and dedicated to Yan’s great grandfather Yan Qinli. It is 268 cm high and 92 cm wide. The life-story on the tablet was written and cut in regular script. The tablet was buried underground for many years, protecting it from damage, and the calligraphy is remarkably clear and fresh. It serves as a good model for beginners to copy. Today, it is kept in the Third Hall of the Forest of Steles Museum in Xi’an.

The penmanship of the calligraphy on the tablet stresses the maneuverability of the middle edge of the brush, with the use of the brush tip at first in a pressed and backward way and then unfolding it to level to the end, to make the head of the strokes hidden and the tail protected. In this way, the edges of the brushwork cannot be seen and an effect of forceful penmanship is thus produced with characters smoothly and energetically written. Its typical strokes such as the long slanting lines and long vertical stems are unique. Its turns are mostly in the form of an inward square and an outward round. As a whole, the Yan style is solemn and great, elegant and robust, vigorous and primitive with an atmosphere of magnificence.







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