Friday, April 04, 2008

Two Old Gentlemen of Culture

Browsing through
the Sotheby's site yesterday
I came across the
calligraphy of Chen Jiru (1558-1639)
which totally blew me away.

Especially when I zoomed in on the detail
(which, shamefully, is not possible with
the art museum sites that show his work)

What a delicious contrast
those two characters above
make with each other

and the same here,
the heavy/closed with the wispy/open

I love his assertive qualities

as well as his

like contrasting
kinds of food
on a plate
at El Bulli restaurant
(no -- I'm never going to eat there,
why bother -- when so many fine dishes
are served on the internet)

don't you love how those dots
are floating so carefully in space ?
with just the right tension
in the long, vertical stroke ?

But as it turned out,
Chen had a good friend,
Dong Qichang (1555-1636)
who shared his interest in
literature, painting,and calligraphy

and who lettered these 60" vertical scrolls
in one day.

all twelve of them in one sitting,

in 1634

at the age of 79,

for the enjoyment of his best friend, Chen,
(who was then 76)



Blogger epeius said...

Great hand!

April 04, 2008  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Okay, now I feel TOTALLY inept.

Jeez, to have such skill, and heart, and soul...and friends with the same, to boot.

(And, despite my feeling as if nothing I ever do in my life will amount to more than a passing grain of sand compared to the calligraphic masters here, I am grinning wildly.)

Thanks for sharing their brilliance.

April 06, 2008  

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