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Jin dynasty (晉朝, 265-420 C.E.)

The Jin dynasty was rife with political unrest and conflicts. For that reason the dominance of Confucianism gradually faded and Taoism seemed to be more agreeable with philosophic mindset of the Chinese calligraphers, who focused on studies and research. The Jin dynasty was the time when the greatest calligrapher of all times was supposedly born, 王羲之 (Wáng Xīzhī, 303–361). Xīzhī is often called the “sage of calligraphy” (書聖, Chinese: Shū shèng). The majority of historians agree that he was the author of the most famous calligraphic work, entitled “Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion” (蘭亭集序, Chinese: Lántíngjí Xù).

During the Eastern Jin dynasty (東晉, 317 – 420) the great calligraphy theoretician, Madam Wei (衛夫人, Wèi Fūren, 272 – 349), was born. She was also a teacher of the aforementioned Wáng Xīzhī. Madam Wei is possibly the greatest woman calligrapher of all times. She was the author of the “Diagram of the Brush Battle” (筆陣圖, in Chinese: Bǐ zhèn tú) – a theoretical debate about calligraphy.

The Jin dynasty was the last period of the 2000 year-long “Age of Bamboo Slips”, during which bamboo and wood (many experts and historians also suggest silk) were the prevailing writing materials.

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Page last modified on October 26, 2011, at 09:02 AM