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A Transcription in Running Script

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: ink on paper
Format: hanging scroll

Date: 1785
Scriptstyle: running script
Calligrapher(s): Liang Tongshu (1723-1815)

Dimensions: 127.5 × 57.8 cm

Son of Liang Shizheng (1697-1763), Liang Tongshu was born in Qiantang (today's Hangzhou), Zhejing province. After earning his jinshi degree in 1752, he was chosen as a Hanlin Bachelor (shujishi) and later promoted to Expositor-in-waiting (shijiang) of the Hanlin Academy. In calligraphy, he first imitated the style of Yan Zhenqing (709-785) and Liu Gongquan (778-865), and in his middle age modeled his calligraphy after Mi Fu (1051-1107). During his later years, Liang wrote in a spontaneous and creative way and formed an individualistic style of his own. Equally famed as Liu Yong (1720-1804) and Wang Wenzhi (1730-1802), in the calligraphy circles, he was called, together with Liang Yan (1710-after 1788), "Liang from the North and Liang from the South" (Nanbei Liang). Meanwhile, he was good at writing poems and essays, and was the author of several books.   
  In this work, Liang copied an excerpt from chapter five of Annotation of Dongpo (Dongpo tiba) by Su Shi (1037-1101) which elaborates on the method of holding and using a brush and exerted considerable influence upon later generations of calligraphers. This calligraphic work was written in 1785 when Liang was 63. With a simple and easy style, it is skillfully brushed with mild and elegant strokes, and is a monumental piece among the calligrapher's later works.

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