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South North dynasty and Sui dynasty

(North dynasty 386-577, South dynasty 420-589, Sui dynasty 581-618)

After the Sima family (the emperor family of Jin dynasty) went south of Chang Jiang river, China become two independent countries, south and north. Both south and north countries have 4 or 5 dynasty. This is the longest time of split and chaos. But calligraphy still have some great achievements. Two schools of calligraphy formed during this time. The south dynasties inherited the custom of Jin dynasty. Tablet were forbidden since Jin dynasty so there're more ties. But the north dynasties didn't have this prohibition thus there're more tablets.

Wei Bei. Wei Bei is the summation of all tablets of Bei Wei (386-534). Kang Youwei summarized the 10 beauties and 13 schools of Wei Bei: 

10 beauties:

1. bold, resolute, majestic.

2. atmosphere is solemn and respectful.

3. brush movement is jumping and springing.

4. strokes are precipitous and thick.

5. consciousness and posture are surprising and graceful.

6. spirit is flying.

7. interest and mood are merry, lively, solid and sound.

8. rules of bones are understood thoroughly.

9. structures are natural.

10. blood and muscles are lush.

13 schools:

First 3 schools:

"Cuan Long Yan" belongs to the powerful, solid and luxuriant school. It also includes "Ling Miao Yin Bei".

"Shi Men Ming" belongs to the flying, graceful, solemn and respectful shool. It also includes "Zheng Wen Gong Bei" and "Yi He Ming".

"Diao Bi Gan Wen" belongs to the thin, hard, precipitous school. And so are "Juan Xiu Luo" and "Ling Ta Ming".

Middle 4 schools:

"Zhang Meng Long" belongs to the school of changing of normal style. So are "Jia Si Bo" and "Yang Hui".

"Shi Xing Wang Bei" belongs to the strict and precipitous school. So is "Li Zhong Xuan".

"Jing Xian Que" belongs to the quiet, solemn, dense school. So are "Zhu Jun Shan" and "Long Cang Si".

"Hui Fu Si" belongs to the rich and thick school. So are "Mu Zi Rong" , "Liang Shi Que" and "Wen Quan Song".

Last 6 schools:

"Zhang Xuan" belongs to the precipitous, free and easy school. So is "Ma Ming Si".

"Gao Zhi" belongs to the great, powerful and silly school. So is "Wang Yan", "Wang Seng" and "Aang Zhi".

"Li Chao" belongs to the school of beautiful body and bone. So is "Xie Bo Da", "Huang Pu Lin".

"Yang Da Yan" belongs to the precipitous, strong and great school. So are "Wei Ling Cang", "Guang Chuan Wang" and "Cao Zi Jian".

"Diao Zun" belongs to the void, peaceful, round and quiet school. So are "Gao Zhan" and "Liu Yi".

"Wu Ping Zhong Hou Shen Dao" belongs to the flat and clean school. So are "Su Ci" and "She Li Ta".

Famous calligraphers:

Yang Xin (370-442). Zi: Jing Yuan. Born in TAi Shan city (southwest of Fei county of Shan Dong province today), he was Wang Xianzhi's student. He was good at Kai Shu.

Xiao Sihua. Born in Nan Lan Ling (northwest of Chang Zhou city in Jiang Su province today), he was good at Li Shu. Studied from Yang Xin, some people think he surpassed Yang Xin. His Xing Shu is like birds playing on sand.

Wang Sengqian (426-485) is the 4th generation grandson of Wang Xizhi. He was good at Kai Shu.

Zhang Rong. Zi: Si Guang. Born in Su Zhou of Jiang Su province, he was good at all scripts, especially good at Cao Shu. 

Tao Hong Jing (456-536). Zi: Tong Ming. 

Xiao Ziyun (487-549). Zi: Jing Qiao. Born in Nan Lan Ling (northwest of Chang Zhou in Jiang Su province today), he was a historian. He was good at Xing Shu, Cao Shu and Xiao Zhuan.

Ruan Yuan. Zi: Wen. Born in Chen Liu (northwest of Kai Feng in He Nan province), his calligraphy is like flying spring.

Zhi Yong is the seventh generation grandson of Wang Xizhi. His "Zhen Cao Qian Zi Wen" is said a piece from heaven. 

Zheng Dao Zhao (?-516). Zi: Xi Bo. Representative calligraphy : Zheng Wen Gong Bei.

Ding Daohu. Born in Qiao Guao (Hao county of An Hui province today), his "Qi Fa Si" and "Xing Guo Si" were very famous at that time.

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Last modified: 05/09/09