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Sarah E. Fraser

[Chang Ta-ch’ienChang Dai–chienzhaihao Dafengtang]

(b Neijiang, Sichuan Province, May 10, 1899; d Taipei, Apr 2, 1983).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, collector, and accomplished forger. Born Zhang Zhengquan, he was from an artistic family and began to paint under the tutelage of his mother, Zeng Youzhen (1860–1936). In 1917, after passing through Shanghai, he joined his elder brother Zhang Shanzi (1882–1940) in Kyoto, where he learned textile dyeing and weaving.

In 1919 Zhang returned to Shanghai and studied with the calligrapher Zeng Xi (1861–1930), who gave him the name Zhang Yuan, as well as with the painter Li Ruiqing (1867–1920), a specialist in Shitao-style landscapes (1642–1707). Both are credited with cultivating Zhang’s distinctive calligraphic hand. Zhang’s intentionally splayed characters, combined with awkward elements such as leans in unexpected directions, have origins in antiquarian studies (jinshi xue), an element central to Zeng and Li’s practice. Li deployed a seal script (zhuanshu) based on bronzes and stone stele. In December ...