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This work of exemplary running-regular script (xingkai) calligraphy is a courteous letter from Li Zhiyi (1048–1117) to a friend. The brush technique is elegant with a robust quality. The arrangement and the construction of the characters are harmonious and strictly formed—features which demonstrate the artist’s personal style and artistic methodology.
From Wudi in Cangzhou (present-day Binzhou, Shangdong Province), Li Zhiyi was also known by his courtesy name (zi) Duanshu and by his style name (hao) Guxi Jushi. He once served as an aide to Su Shi (1037–1101) during his official tenure at Dingzhou. An experienced poet, Li was also a proficient calligrapher. Recognized for his talent by Su Shi, he became an important member of the Su school, the group of literati who received the eminent poet’s guidance.
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu