The number of calligraphers in the Han Dynasty was no longer just two or three people. Since the Han Dynasty, the records in calligraphy and history books have become more complete and the lines have become clearer. After the official script appeared at the end of the Warring States Period, the Qin Dynasty gradually eliminated the seal script with its own advantages. By the Han Dynasty, it became the mainstream script for public and private use and experienced unprecedented prosperity. Official script has become the representative style of calligraphy in the Han Dynasty. However, the emergence of truly exquisite official script works occurred in the late Eastern Han Dynasty during the reigns of Emperors Huan and Ling.
The main achievement of calligraphy in the Han Dynasty was official script. But history will never be static and one-way, and Chinese characters are far from developing into a satisfactory pattern. Compared with the characters that we use later and even today, the problem of ease of use of official script in actual use has still not been solved. An ideal solution, its structure and stipples contain too many decorative elements, which also hinder daily use. Therefore, during the Han and Wei dynasties, official script continued to undergo changes, eventually forming regular script (which is said to be the first work of Wang Cizhong) that is almost the same as the script we use today. On the other hand, along with the emergence and use of official script, cursive script (Zhangcao) also inevitably appeared, just like the emergence of cursive seal script (seal script written casually due to urgency).
Zhao Yi, a scholar of poetry and poetry in the Eastern Han Dynasty, once talked about this issue in "Fei Cao Script": "At the end of the Qin Dynasty, the punishments were high and the network was dense, the official documents were cumbersome, wars and attacks were written simultaneously, military documents were exchanged, and feathers were flying, so it was called Li Grass, tending to be quick and quick." This shows that in order to use "quickness", the official script that is simpler than Xiaozhuan is still not enough, and the official script that is sloppy due to the increase in speed has appeared. Precisely because it is written in cursive official script, this kind of cursive script still retains the characteristics of Bo Teng, and the characters are independent like official script. In order to distinguish it from this kind of grass method, which was later named Zhangcao, the more convenient continuous grass method with no overhangs, which was further transformed in the Han and Wei dynasties and has been used to this day, is called Jincao (passed down as Zhang Zhi created). It is also necessary to say a few more words about the origin of the name Zhangcao. This issue has always been controversial, and there are different opinions. Here are a few: One is that it was derived from the calligraphy style used in "Jijiu Zhang" written by Shi You during the reign of Emperor Yuan of the Han Dynasty; another is that it was derived from the calligraphy style used by Du Dushan during the reign of Emperor Zhang of the Later Han Dynasty. Emperor Zhang was very pleased with the use of the above letter and asked Du Du to use this style of writing when he presented memorials, so it was named Zhangcao (the second theory is more credible).
According to historical records, the running script that is most commonly used today also appeared in the late Han Dynasty. "Shujuan" written by Zhang Huaiguan of the Tang Dynasty said: "The running script was created by Liu Desheng of Yingchuan in the later Han Dynasty. Liu Desheng is the ancestor of running script." However, Liu's running script has not been spread. Presumably, like other calligraphy styles, it must be the result of convention. It can only be due to someone in a special position at a specific historical moment who did the work of collecting and organizing it. The Han Dynasty is indeed a critical era in the history of calligraphy. While using official script as the mainstream, it quietly completed the evolution and finalization of the three calligraphy styles of Kai, Xing and Jincao at the end of the Han Dynasty, and initially established the calligraphy pattern that is still continued and most commonly used today.
There were many outstanding calligraphers in the Han Dynasty. Moreover, the calligrapher's behavior has attracted widespread attention from society, and the calligrapher's worth is becoming more and more expensive day by day. Among them, the main calligraphers include: Cui Yuan, Du Du (i.e. Du Cao), Zhang Zhi, Cai Yong, Shi Yiguan, Liang Hu, Liu Desheng and others.