Four Poems: Calligraphy in Cursive Script (xingshu)

Four Poems: Calligraphy in Cursive Script (xingshu)


Chen Jiru 陳繼儒

(Chinese, 1558-1639)

Handscroll; ink on gold speckled paper

Overall: 26.5 x 190.2 cm (10 7/16 x 74 7/8 in.)

Gift of Dr. Roger Y.K. and Mrs. Evangeline C. Hsu, Dr. Daphne T. Hsu, and Dr. Jeffrey T. Hsu in honor of Dr. Ju-hsi Chou 2004.65



Written in graceful calligraphy with well-composed characters, the artist communicates his thoughts and state of mind in four poems. Characters written in dark, thick strokes convey rhythm, and indicate the moment after the writer had paused to recharge his brush with ink. Chen Jiru was a native of Huating (modern Shanghai). His calligraphy style resembles that of his friend, influential calligrapher Dong Qichang (1555–1636). Unlike Dong, Chen did not pursue government service: he burned his Confucian robes, declined a summons to serve at court, and immersed himself in literature, calligraphy, and painting.

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