"Prime Minister of Thick Ink" Liu Yong's Official Career and His Humanistic Calligraphy

   Liu Yong, calligrapher, painter, and statesman of the Qing Dynasty (1719-1804), courtesy name Chongru, name Shi'an, and other name names such as Qingyuan, Xiangyan, Dongwu, Mu'an, Minghua, Riguanfeng Daoren, etc., Pangge, Zhucheng County Zhuang (now Gaomi City, Shandong Province), the son of Liu Tongxun, a bachelor.

   Liu Yong won the Jinshi at the age of 32 in the 16th year of Qianlong's reign in the Qing Dynasty (1751). build. During the 20th year of Qianlong, when Liu Tongxun was the governor of Shaanxi and Gansu, due to the investigation of the garrison of Balikun Hami, it was inappropriate for General Yongchang to handle it. Edited again. Since then, he has served as the official examiner of the Guangxi provincial examination and the admiral of Anhui Xuezheng. In the 31st year of Qianlong, when he was the prefect of Taiyuan, Liu Yong was convicted of neglecting his duties in the case of successfully eroding the treasury items when he was the magistrate of Taiyuan. Walk in the library. Later, he served as the magistrate of Jiangning Prefecture in Jiangsu Province and the inspector of Shaanxi Province. In the thirty-eighth year of Qianlong's reign, Liu Yong and Ding's father were worried, and in the forty-first year of Qianlong's reign, Fu Que went to Beijing. Qianlong commemorated Liu Tongxun's "long-standing Xuanli, and the availability of inspection tools", so he awarded Liu Yong a cabinet bachelor, walked in the South Study Room, served as the vice president of Siku Quanshu, and took over the compilation of "Illustrated Records of the Western Regions" and "Daily Records". Under the old news test" and other books. After that, he successively served as the governor of Zhili, the official secretary, and the chief master of Shangshufang. In the second year of Jiaqing (1797), he was awarded a bachelor of Tiren Pavilion. Liu Yong died in December of the ninth year of Jiaqing. Emperor Jiaqing was grateful for Liu Tongxun's outstanding contribution, so he bestowed Liu Yong's grace on the Prince Taibao, and enshrined him in the Xianliang Temple, posthumously named "Wenqing".

   Liu YongHe has been honest and honest in his life, always considers the interests of the people, and is deeply loved by the people. He has never corrupted a cent of the country's silver or a piece of utensils. When building dams and bridges, he led the people and staff to work hard on the front line. The clothes are simple and the food is coarse. His favorite food is pancake rolls with scallions. It can be seen that his life as an official is quite difficult.

  Judging from Liu Yong's official career experience, it can be said that his journey has been bumpy, and he was convicted twice. Especially for the second time, he had already been sentenced to "plan to be executed in prison" and almost died, but Qianlong was extra merciful and dealt with him leniently. Undoubtedly, Qianlong gave Liu Yong a great favor, but this kind of favor was based on Qianlong's gratitude for Liu Tongxun's outstanding achievements.

  Liu Tongxun is a man of integrity, meticulous and sensitive, and has the ability to resolve doubts and make decisions. In politics, he has never been attached, honest and selfless, and dares to speak out. He is Qianlong's confidant and assistant prime minister. When Liu Tongxun died of illness, Qianlong mourned greatly, saying "I have lost a share of my arm", and there was an edict saying "I am actually a capable minister of the country". Even after 7 years, I still can't forget it. Sensitive, with strong disposition. If you have the style of an ancient minister, you will never lose integrity for life", which shows that Qianlong highly rewarded Liu Tongxun and cherished his memory.

  The so-called "love the house and the black" is precisely because Qianlong relied heavily on Liu Tongxun, and he placed high hopes on Liu Yong to inherit his father's legacy and serve the court wholeheartedly. During the 21st year of Qianlong, when Liu Yong was admiral of Anhui Xuezheng, Qianlong's poem "Giving Anhui Xuezheng to Liu Yong" said that "the family reputation will be inherited, and the reward period will be deep." In the forty-second year of Qianlong's reign, when Liu Yong was the admiral of Jiangsu Xuezheng, Qianlong once again presented a poem with the sentence "Xu (xù) □ Mo Guwang, the frame of your father's country". From this, we can see Qianlong's ardent encouragement to Liu Yong.

  Liu Yong did not live up to Qianlong's expectations. He upheld his duty, conducted himself in a clean and honest manner, and did some practical things to worry about the country and relieve the people's difficulties. For example, in September of the fifty-third year of Qianlong, Yushi Zhu Delin impeached Siye Huang Shouling for a discount, saying that "the imperial examination was only written by Liu Yong and Zou Bingtai. Liu Yong's style of incorruptibility. In the forty-seventh year of Qianlong, Liu Yong was in the South Study Room. He and He Shen went to Licheng County, Shandong Province to investigate the case of fuchen Guotai and other officials embezzling treasury silver. The personnel were punished one by one according to the law, and won the praise of the people for their fairness and discernment. Just as Wu Dexuan said: "Hearing judgments and judging clearly, people are better than Bao Longtu."

  Although Liu Yong is famous for his integrity among the people, he is still far from Qianlong's expectations. In fact, as early as the 42nd year of Qianlong, in Qianlong's poem to Liu Yong, there was a saying, "It can be used as a method of judgment, don't be lonely and use kindness. You don't need to be troubled by hard work and hard work", and warned him not to let him down. Emperor En, you must be diligent in government affairs and stop doing vain things of singing praises. Qianlong's dissatisfaction with Liu Yong has begun to emerge. In the fifty-second year of Qianlong's reign, Liu Yong informed Ji Huang of Qianlong's remarks about "Ji Huang is old, and if he wants to return home, he can't bear to follow", and "Cao Wenyu has old relatives, if he wants to return home to support relatives, he can't bear not to follow." , Cao, and Cao Wenyan, even if there was a sue for support, Qianlong was deeply dissatisfied when he learned about it, so that Liu Yong had a great chance when he was awarded a supplementary scholarship the next year, but because of this, he was directly reprimanded by Qianlong for "coveting for a supplementary scholarship". "Bachelor" has "the selfishness of impetuous progress", but he has not been awarded. In March of the fifty-fourth year of Qianlong, because the master in the study had not been paid for seven days, Liu Yong, as the chief master, did not control him, which caused Qianlong to be furious. Indulging in one's duty to the country is disloyalty, and Yu Yi's father is unfilial, which is too great." He actually denounced Liu Yong as disloyal and unfilial, and his disappointment was beyond words. It can be seen that in the late Qianlong period, Qianlong no longer tolerated Liu Yong's extreme dissatisfaction, but rebuked each other coldly and mercilessly. Even after Jiaqing ascended the throne, Jiaqing did not have a high evaluation of Liu Yong. There were accusations such as "Liu Yong has always been unwilling to do things honestly" and "walking rather lazy".

  It can be said that Liu Yong was deeply favored by Qianlong, but he lacked some political wisdom, combined with a mediocre and lazy style, and was not very diligent, which was in stark contrast to his father Liu Tongxun. , Until Jiaqing succeeded to the throne, Liu Yong failed to be reused in politics.

  Liu Yong has made great achievements in calligraphy, especially good at calligraphy and regular script. There are many records about the origin of his calligraphy. "Songxuan Essays" says: "Liu Wenqing's calligraphy, first entered from Songxue (Zhao Meng), and became a family of his own after middle age. Detached and unique." "Qing Barnyard Banknotes" said: "When he was young, he was in Zhao style, with round pearls and jade, like a beautiful woman's hairpin. After middle age, his pen is vigorous and magnificent. When he enters the Tai Pavilion, the splendor returns to the plain, and the perfection is perfect. The realm is over." In addition, there is a saying that he "obtained the essence of Zhong Taifu and Yan Lugong" "In fact, he started from Songxue, and later he specialized in pavilion posts. , Crown Generation" and so on.

  It can be said that Liu Yong's calligraphy is extensively studied by various schools, absorbing the essence of the brushes used by the predecessors, and not seeking the verisimilitude of gestures, "into the ancients but beyond the ancients". His calligraphy combines the mellowness of Zhao Meng, the clumsiness of Dong Qichang, the plumpness of Su Shi, and the vigorousness of Yan Zhenqing. It looks plump and soft on the outside, but in fact it is strong, full of flesh and blood, and clear in veins. In particular, he likes to use Langhao hard pen to write on wax paper. His style is more full without showing his muscles and bones.

  Because Liu Yong likes to use lampblack ink, this kind of ink is black and rich, with bright luster, and his fonts are plump in appearance, so he is called "ink pig". Because he was officially a scholar of Tiren Pavilion, he was called "Prime Minister of Nongmo".

         The axis of Liu Yong's "Running Script Sending Cai Mingyuan's Narrative" (Figure 1), this axis is closely related to Yan Zhenqing's "Tie with Cai Mingyuan" in the Tang Dynasty, and the inscription "Yiwei winter is coming, Shi'an layman". Liu Yong was 57 years old. The calligraphy on this axis is round and vigorous, simple and elegant, with both square and round, and green and moist. Just as the "Songxuan Essays" said, "(Liu Yong) has a vigorous brushwork and a magnificent situation after his middle age", which is the typical appearance of Liu Yong's calligraphy in his prime.    


       figure 1    

         Liu Yong's "Seven-Character Poems in Small Regular Script" volume (Figure 2), this volume contains several seven-character poems, and the signature is "Bingchenqiu has the second day of Chongyang in September, written in Jiuanshi, Dongwu Shian". Liu Yong was 78 years old. The calligraphy in this book is simple and thick, with a round structure, inheriting the will of the Wei and Jin Dynasties, with a hint of the charm of the Northern Stele. In the round and vigorous style, it incorporates square, hard and vigorous brushwork. It is Liu Yong's masterpiece of lower case in his later years.    

figure 2

  In addition, Liu Yong's Fengchi works also have their own unique features. For example, his "Shu Hongli Pingding Taiwan Gaocheng Confucian Temple Stele" (Fig. 3), "Shu Hongli Dashi Praise" and so on, the brushwork is steady, the ink color is moist, and the size of the knot characters is uniform. Although the brush and ink are thin and strong However, it still has a rich and round charm. While following the standard of Guange style, it retains its own characteristics of being plump and round on the outside and vigorous on the inside. This was indeed rare in the court calligraphy that was popular at that time See you.

image 3

  At that time, people called Liu Yong, Weng Fanggang, Prince Cheng Yongxuan, and Tiebao together as the "Four Great Calligraphers in the Mid-Qing Dynasty", and they were called "Weng Liu Chengtie". And Weng Fanggang can be ranked as the chief, living in front of Liu Yong, Liu Yong has his own shortcomings. Weng Fanggang first learned calligraphy from Yan Zhenqing, and continued to learn from Ouyang Xun, and wrote the steles of "Shi Chen Stele" and "Han Chi Stele". For example, he wrote the "Heart Sutra in Regular Script" by imperial order, which is steady and melancholy, with a strong charm, and has the thick and grand appearance of stele calligraphy. This is mainly due to Weng Fanggang's advocating calligraphy learning, he is also proficient in textual research on gold and stone, and can integrate it into calligraphy creation. Baozhen said in "Records of Calligraphers and Painters of the National Dynasty" that "Mr. has carefully studied the ancients and learned a lot. He has recorded calligraphy, painting and poems in Jinshi, and all of them can be selected and excerpted. Chen and Han Dynasty steles, try to copy dozens of old posts, and those who ask for books and steles at home will return them." This can also show that Weng Fanggang has comprehensive and profound attainments in calligraphy and stele studies. And this is what Liu Yong can't do.

  Liu Yong's calligraphy is due to the profound accumulation of calligraphy learning, and Kang Youwei praised him as "a collection of calligraphy learning". His calligraphy "is not imprisoned by the ancients, but stands alone", accompanied by ingenuity and clumsiness, and has a unique appearance. Although he dabbled in Beibei in his later years, his energy was weak and he could not make any achievements. In the end, he could only be confined to the scope of calligraphy learning, unable to go further on the road of innovation, and became the last bright spot before the decline of calligraphy learning.

  Liu Yong's Independent Calligraphy Works Auction Top 5

   Title of Work Size Sold Price Auction Company Date

  Running script (vertical axis) 192×89 cm, 3.36 million yuan Liaoning Construction 2009-11-01

  Running script (vertical scroll) 189×89 cm, 2.42 million yuan, Beijing Shanbao 2010-03-21

  Running script (vertical scroll) 178×79 cm 1.68 million yuan Shanghai Xinhua 2010-09-04

  Four volumes of "Running Script Essays" (forty-eight pages) 9×23 cm, 1.344 million yuan Beijing Hanhai 2010-06-06

  Made in 1803 in cursive script (handscroll), painted heart 123×117 cm, postscript 22×234 cm, 1.265 million yuan, Beijing Poly 2011-06-05