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Lantingji Xu (蘭亭集序, Chinese: Lántíngjí Xù)

Possibly the most remarkable masterpiece in semi-cursive style ever created. Lántíngjí Xù translates into “Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion”. It is attributed to 王羲之 (Wáng Xīzhī, 303 – 361 C.E.) of the Jin dynasty (晉朝, 265 – 420 C.E.), and it was written in 353 C.E., after few glasses of wine. Unfortunately, the original did not survive, since it was buried together with the body of the Emperor Taizong of Tang (唐太宗, Chinese: Táng Tàizōng, 599 – 649), who greatly treasured the works of Wáng Xīzhī. Lántíngjí Xù is not only a story of a drinking and poetry-writing gathering of 42 artists, but possibly the most valued calligraphic treasure of all time. Lántíngjí Xù is also the source of many idioms and sayings commonly used today, as well as the subject of numerous theatrical plays and novels. The preface by Wáng Xīzhī is an extremely emotional calligraphy, abundant in changes of rhythm, as well as numerous corrections.

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Page last modified on January 25, 2012, at 11:02 AM