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date: 20 January 2020

Zheng Fu [Cheng Fu; zi Ruqi, hao Gukou] locked

(b Shangyuan [present-day Nanjing], Jiangsu Province, 1622; ancestry traceable to Putian, Fujian Province; d 1693).
  • Harold Mok

Extract

[Cheng Fu; zi Ruqi, hao Gukou]

(b Shangyuan [present-day Nanjing], Jiangsu Province, 1622; ancestry traceable to Putian, Fujian Province; d 1693).

Chinese calligrapher, collector, and Chinese medicine practitioner. Personally trained by his father the renowned physician Zheng Zhiyan, he took up Chinese medicine for a profession instead of seeking to join the civil service through examinations. All his life, the lover of arts was tireless in his search for Han steles and was highly regarded as a collector of stele rubbings and a calligrapher especially in the clerical script. In Chinese art history, he has been considered a pioneer of the Stele School of calligraphy.

Zheng was by far the most venerated among early Qing calligraphers in the clerical script. Deviating from the Yuan and Ming tradition of writing neat and blocky clerical script with regular-script brush methods, he looked further back in history and modeled directly on Han steles to achieve archaism. Among these steles, Stele of Shi Chen (Shi Chen bei, 169 CE) and especially Stele for Cao Quan...

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