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Miscellaneous Poems in Regular Script, Running Script, and Cursive Script

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Period: Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
Medium: ink on paper
Format: handscroll

Date: 1510
Scriptstyle: running script, regular script, cursive script
Calligrapher(s): Zhu Yunming (1460-1526)

Dimensions: 28.5 × 739.2 cm

A native of Changzhou (today's Suzhou, Jiangsu province), Zhu Yunming earned the title "recommended man” (juren, meaning a provincial graduate) in the Imperial Examination held in 1492, the fifth year of the Hongzhi reign (1488-1505). He was appointed District Magistrate (zhixian) governing a district in Huizhou prefecture, Guangdong province in 1514, the ninth year of the Zhengde reign (1506-1521), and later promoted to Assistant Prefect in Yingtian prefecture of Nanjing. His biography was included in the History of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). He was an accomplished scholar, particularly adept at literature and calligraphy. With Tang Yin (1470-1523), Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) and Wang Chong (1494-1533), he was considered one of the "Four Literary Masters of the Wu region”. He had consummate skills in many different scripts and often incorporated a variety of scripts in his works. He was grouped with Wen Zhengming and Wang Chong (1494-1533) as "Three Master Calligraphers of the Wu Region”. His calligraphy shows the legacies of Jin (265-420) and Tang (618-907) calligraphers. He modeled his regular script after Zhong You (151-230) and Chu Suiliang (596-659), running script after Wang Xizhi (303-361, or 321-379) and Wang Xianzhi (344-386), and cursive script after Zhang Xu and Huaisu (725-785). The influence of the archaic cursive script used in memorials can also be tracked in his calligraphy. On the other hand, his works show highly individualistic and original features, demonstrating the calligrapher's creativity.
  Written in 1510, the fifth year of the Zhengde reign (1506-1521), when Zhu Yunming was about fifty-two years old, this scroll consists of three poems authored by the calligrapher himself, rendered respectively in regular script, running script, and cursive script. The composed, neatly-executed brush strokes lend a hint of antiquity to the calligraphy, distinguishing Zhu's style of cursive script from the usual uninhibited renderings which often feature many characters executed within a single, sinuous brush stroke.

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