Styles of Calliography

Even though we don't need to know the meaning of the characters of the calliography, in studying Chinese calligraphy one must learn something of the origins of Chinese language and of how they were originally written. And we may accognize the fact that there are many styles for the calligraphy.

Tu Meng of the Tang dynasty (618-905) developed 120 expressions to describe different styles of calligraphy and establish criteria for them. The first 15 from his list, with explanations and English interpretations :

A gracefully executed work has no peer.

Full panel-(100k)

By Si-Ma Kuang, Song Dynasty (1019-1086)

Bold yet fluid -

Full panel. From Ode of Mulan by [Mi Fei] [Mei Fei] (aka Mi Fu)


Full panel

By [Yan Zhenqing] [Yen Chen-Ching]


Full panel

By [Wu Ju]{Wu Chu]


Full panel

By Zhang Ruitu (1570-1641)


By Li Juan (b. 1713)

A carefree style has no fixed directions

By [Wang Xizhi] [Wang Hsi-Chih]. The character is Sui (to follow), in cursive style.
The movement of the strokes suggests speed, by a dancing rather than a racing speed.

A gracefully executed work

An exuberant work full of feeling and vigor.
Full panel

By [Wang Xizhi][Wang Hsi-Chih]

Lighting quick
Full panel

By [Dong Qichang] [Tung Chi-Chang]

A virile work in which strength is paramount.

The character is "mountain".

By [Zhang Zhengyu][Chang Cheng-yu] (1903-1976)