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Seven-character Couplet in Clerical Script

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

Scriptstyle: clerical script
Calligrapher(s): He Shaoji (1799-1873)

Dimensions: 128 × 31.8 cm

He Shaoji was a native of Daozhou, Hunan province. He earned the jinshi degree in 1836, and was appointed Junior Compiler while acting as Asistant Compiler (xiexiu), and later Compiler-in-chief (zongcuan) of the Historiography Institue (guoshi guan) located in the Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian). He presided over imperial examinations on the provincial level of Fujian, Guizhou and Guangdong provinces, and served as the Provincial Education Commissioner (xuezheng) of Sichuan. After resignation, he lectured in Luoyuan Academy of Shandong province as well as Chengnan Academy of Changsha, Hunan province. In his later years, he first moved to Shanghai and then to Suzhou. Erudite and versatile, He authored a great number of books.   
  He started learning calligraphy by emulating the style in Epitaph of Zhang Xuan of the Northern Wei (386-534), and later modeled his script after Yan Zhenqing's works, large seal script (zhuanzhou) of the Zhou (1027-256 BCE) and Qin (221-207 BCE) dynasty, as well as stone tablet inscriptions of the Han (206 BCE-220 CE) and Southern and Northern dynasties (420-589). In his old age, he was fond of imitating Ouyang Xun's calligraphic style. His works in regular script and running script are individualistic; those in seal and clerical script are rendered in a forceful and simple manner with an elegant and ancient appeal. This couplet adopts the brushwork commonly seen in seal script calligraphy, and the characters are steadily and gracefully structured, manifesting the unique charm of He's style.

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