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date: 17 January 2020

Dong Qichang [Tung Ch’i-ch’ang; zi Xuanzai; hao Sibo, Siweng, Xiangguang, Xiangguang jushi; Wenmin] locked

(b Shanghai, Feb 10, 1555; d Dec 1636).
  • Celia Carrington Riely
  • , revised by Katharine Burnett

Extract

[Tung Ch’i-ch’ang; zi Xuanzai; hao Sibo, Siweng, Xiangguang, Xiangguang jushi; Wenmin]

(b Shanghai, Feb 10, 1555; d Dec 1636).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, connoisseur, theoretician, collector, and high official.

At the age of 12 Dong Qichang, the son of a local school teacher, passed the prefectural civil-service examination to qualify as a Government Student (shengyuan) and was awarded a coveted place in the prefectural school. Mortified, however, at being ranked below his younger kinsman Dong Chuanxu because of his clumsy calligraphy, from 1571 Dong resolved to study calligraphy in earnest. His initial models were rubbings of works by the Tang-period (618–907 ce) calligraphers Yan Zhenqing and Yu Shinan (558–638), but soon realizing the superior merits of the Six Dynasties (222–589 ce) calligraphers, he turned to the works of Zhong You (151–230 ce) and the great Wang Xizhi (see Wang family (i), (1)). After three years he was confident of having grasped their style, and no longer admired works by the Ming-period (...

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