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  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy
    Fan painting - Calligraphy by Zhai Yunsheng (1776-1860)

    Twenty large clerical script characters, only two characters to a line, followed by three lines of smaller regular script characters with the date, dedication and signature. Yunsheng was one of the few artists in the collection to have attained success in the metropolitan exams and received his jinshi degree in 1822. Kuo and Sturman relate his eccentric behavior. The clerical script in this fan is close to that found in the example in Guo and Sturman. These authors note that in his writing Zhai tended to make less use of the modulated stroke found in some clerical script models, and that seems the case here. While it does appear, the overwhelming emphasis is on the horizontal lines that create a ladder-like structure. Zhai followed his teacher Gui Fu in the study of Han dynasty stelae, where the classical examples of the clerical script are to be found.