The Tang Dynasty was indeed an era when theories and laws were mature and complete. If it is said that all periods before the Tang Dynasty made unremitting efforts to the evolution of calligraphy and the standardization and finalization of laws and regulations, then the Tang Dynasty finally turned this effort into reality and achieved comprehensive achievements. Therefore, in terms of the dating style of calligraphy history, the calligraphy style of Tang people has the reputation of "advocating the law". The style and method are established, and in the Song Dynasty, people thought that there was no need to dwell on the problems that the Tang people had solved, so they began to study from another angle. exploration.
In fact, as far back as the Jin Dynasty when the style of calligraphy was "Shang Yun", calligraphers had already tried this, but the direction of "Shang Yun" required the calligraphers to maintain a more "spiritual" relationship with the law in the process of writing. There is a moderate relationship of kindness and harmony - keeping the middle. Among them, the beauty and beauty are not introduced by strong visual impact, but need to be savored by the viewer. Yan Lugong, Zhang Xu, and Huai Su in the Tang Dynasty once expressed their resistance to the shackles of the law, and began to vent their emotions in the process of writing "frivolous behavior", but this did not constitute the mainstream of the Tang Dynasty. It was not until the Song Dynasty that he let go of his hands and feet and carried out extensive research. Among the "Four Schools of Song Dynasty" as representative calligraphers, except for Cai Xiang who is slightly inferior, they all show this clear direction.
Calligraphy in the Song Dynasty is "shangyi", and cursive script is emphasized. As for regular script, it is far inferior to running cursive because of the emphasis on calligraphy and neglect of stele plates, and because cursive script and emotional indulgence can reach a tacit understanding. The calligraphers of the Song Dynasty have one of the most significant differences from the calligraphers of the previous dynasties, which is the collection of poems, essays and paintings. As a result, calligraphers have undergone major changes in their personalities and temperaments, and have generally sublimated their explorations and advocacy in the field of poetry and painting into their concepts of calligraphy art. Several important standard-bearers of calligraphy in the Song Dynasty - Su Shi, Huang Shangu, Mi Fu, etc. were all like this, and their propositions also affected the entire era, forming the overall style of an era.
The Song Dynasty was also a period in which the calligraphy of the previous dynasties was summarized and sorted out for the first time. Although the Empress Li of the South of the Yangtze River had previously ordered Xu Xuan to obtain "Sheng Yuan Tie" with Shi Er, the ancient and modern calligraphy post in his collection, the book included Han Zhang Zhi, Cui Yuan, Wei Zhongxu, Jin Wang Xizhi, Wang Xianzhi, Yu Liang, Tang Taizong, Xuanzong, Ouyang Xun, Liu Gongquan, Huai Su, Huairen and others collected their calligraphy in Chunhua Pavilion, and ordered the king to copy and engrave it in the ban together with the Southern Tang "Jianye Tie" ("Shengyuan Tie"), called "Chunhua Mige Fa Tie". It is precisely because of the systematic collection and arrangement that it helped a generation of calligraphers in the Song Dynasty to find their own development path.
Calligraphers in the early Song Dynasty included Xu Xuan, Guo Zhongshu (painter), Ju Zhongzheng, Li Jianzhong, Feng Ji, Yao Xuan and others. And Li Jianzhong is one of the best.
If we want to say that the typical representatives of the calligraphy style of the Song Dynasty, we must also count the "four great masters" of Huang, Mi, Su, and Cai, especially the first three figures.
There were still many calligraphers in the Song Dynasty, such as Zhao Ji, Cai Jing, Cai Bian, Wen Tong, Qin Guan, Lu You, Mi Youren, Zhang Jizhi, Shi Manqing, Su Shunqin and so on. Especially Su Shunqin (1008~1048), styled Zimei, nicknamed Caiweng, was born in Tongshan (now Xuzhou, Jiangsu). The grass method is excellent, not inferior to the predecessors. Tang Huaisu's "Zixutie" is an old biography of his family, the first paragraph of the long scroll has been broken, and the first six lines of the extant "Zixutie" are Zimei's supplementary books.