The Stele of Yan Qinli is the tombstone erected by Yan Zhenqing for his great-grandfather Yan Qinli, referred to as the Stele of Qinli.

     Yan Zhenqing (709785), courtesy name Qingchen, was born in Jingzhaowannian (now Xi'an, Shaanxi), and his ancestral home was Linyi, Shandong, so some people say he was from Langye. Tang Kaiyuan entered the soil and served as the censor. Because he was rejected by Yang Guozhong, he became the prefect of Pingyuan. During the rebellion in An Lushan, Yan launched a crusade and was promoted as the leader of the alliance. After entering Beijing, Li Guan went to Shangshu of the Ministry of History, Prince Taishi, and made Lu Guogong. Later generations respectfully called "Pingyuan" or "Lu Gong" by his official name. During Emperor Dezong's reign, Li Xilie rebelled, and he was ordered to go to persuade him. Li Xilie threatened to surrender, but he was unyielding and killed.

    Yan Zhenqing was fond of calligraphy since he was a child. He often used loess to practice calligraphy on the wall. He was taught by Zhang Xu and Xu Hao, and combined the brushwork of seal script and Wei Bei to create his own style. He is erudite, good at Ci and Zhang, good at Zheng, Xing, and cursive scripts, with elegant and neat brushes, and strong and solid fonts. When discussing calligraphy with Huai Su, he said that "writing should be done with the folding hairpin brushwork", which means that the brush should be as powerful as the golden hairpin. "Xuanhe Shupu" said that his characters "dots are like falling stones, paintings are like summer clouds, hooks are like bent iron, spears are like crossbows, and the stems are ever-changing, each with its own body." His fonts had a great influence on later generations. Many calligraphers after the Tang Dynasty have practiced Yan characters.

   "The Stele of Qinli" is written and written by Yan Zhenqing. Calligraphy is vigorous and powerful, and it is a mature work in his later years. Yan Zhenqing wrote many monuments in his life, all of which were inscribed with all his official titles at that time. Only this monument is only inscribed "Great-grandson Lujun Founder", which was written when he lost his official position and was demoted to Sima of Jizhou.

    This stele was unearthed in 1922 on Society Road, Xi'an today. It is 268 centimeters high and 92 centimeters wide. Inscriptions are engraved on all four sides, with 19 lines of Yang script and 20 lines of Yin script, each with 38 characters. On the left side of the stele, there are 5 lines of writing, with 37 characters in each line. The inscription on the right has been worn away. In 1948, "The Stele of Qinli" was moved to the Forest of Steles in Xi'an. Most of the face steles hidden in the forest of steles have been worn out due to long-term hammering and rubbing, but this stele was unearthed late, with less wear and tear, and the original charm of the handwriting has not lost its original charm. It is a rare and famous stele.

  Rubbings of "Monument of Qinli" (partial)

  The main features of "The Monument of Qin Li"

  "The Monument of Qinli" is Yan Zhenqing's representative work, "a magnificent writing, elucidating the spirit", which is extraordinary. Many calligraphers after the Tang Dynasty have studied this stele. Let's talk about its brushwork and body structure.

(1) Use the pen in a positive direction to achieve both the square and the circle.Yan Shu is very ancient and clumsy. He pays attention to the beginning of the brush "hiding the head", the center of the stroke, vigorous and powerful, and the ending "protecting the tail". Yan Zhenqing advocated "use the brush like an awl to draw sand, so that it hides the front. Painting is calm", "folded hairpin strands", "house leak marks", etc., emphasizing "center" and "round strength". Such as "folding hairpin", the gold hairpin is bent like a bow, which is more powerful than its straightness. The strokes in "The Stele of Qinli" "turn the straight into a curve" to enhance the strength of the stippling. As shown in Figure 1, there are words such as "things", "waiting", "wen" and "respect". "The Monument of Qinli" pays attention to the roundness of the strokes, such as closing the brush and pressing it again in horizontal strokes, and retracting the hook and pressing strokes first and then releasing them. The folded pen sometimes protrudes upwards and becomes square, and sometimes when the pen is picked up, it turns into a round shoulder, or the inside is square and the outside is round, etc. In short, "The Tablet of Qinli" has both rigidity and softness, and it is worthy of being a "serious and majestic" work. Figure 2 of the female mouth: "Tai", "Zi", "Si", "Zhi" and other characters.

(2) The primary and secondary are clearly defined, highlighting the main author.One is that the main strokes of the same type of strokes are thick and heavy, that is, thick and complicated (multiple turns in turns), and the secondary strokes are set off, light and simple (light turns in turns). The strokes are primary and secondary, and the primary and secondary are distinct, giving people a sense of clarity. For example, the words "Sun", "God", "Book", "Bing" and so on. The second is that there is a large contrast between the weight and weight of the strokes in a character, such as thin horizontal strokes and thick vertical strokes, light strokes and heavy strokes, etc. The characters in the example in the figure all have this feature. The third is the characters composed of many "parts", which are sparse and dense, and are eye-catching and rewarding, such as the characters "Hui", "Shu", "Min" and "Sheng" in Figure 2. Because "the guest and the host are distinct, and the master and the slave are different", the characters appear thin and strong, fat but not stupid.

(3) Take clumsiness as a coincidence, and be radiant.When you have a little understanding of "The Stele of Qinli", you will be surprised by the "clumsy" color; as you learn more, you will find that you have the feeling of "great wisdom and stupidity", which can be described as ingenious in clumsiness, simple and honest, sophisticated and profound. As shown in Figure 3, the words "book", "goodness", "waiting", "lu" and so on. From a macroscopic point of view, Yan characters are informal, with distinct rhythms and broad structures; from a microscopic point of view, Yan Shu is unique, flexible and changeable. For example, the repeated strokes in each character are almost different in starting, moving and ending. As far as horizontal and vertical paintings are concerned, their shapes are either square or round, pointed or bald, straight or curved, thick or thin, long or short, etc., which are extremely ingenious, avoiding similarities, and appear simple and delicate. .

(4) Gather the strengths of the crowd and form a style of its own.In addition to being taught by Zhang Xu and Xu Hao, Yan Zhenqing also accepted the brushwork of Chu Suiliang, Wang Xizhi, seal script and Wei stele. For example, "silkworm head and swallow tail" is not only used flexibly in the pressing method, but also reflected in the horizontal painting, such as the characters "zhi", "husband", "hou", and "self" in Figure 4. At first glance, it seems that the strokes follow the strokes carefully. Looking at it, it is not difficult to see that the characters of Yan are not entirely his original creation, but have been influenced by many calligraphers, which shows his eagerness to learn. Although his characters are different, they are "unusual and in line with the Tao" and are more aesthetically appealing.

(5) Comfortable and complete, graceful and magnanimous. "In addition to the thick and plump features of "The Monument of Qinli", in terms of structure, it is contrary to the characteristics of "convergence in the characters" of the regular script of the early Tang Dynasty. Good looking. As shown in Figure 5, the words "wen", "tong", "tool", "zuo" and so on. All in all, the characters are symmetrical and stable, the strokes are generous, majestic, broad but not loose, and full of spirit, which is really amazing.

2. Specific techniques of stippling in "The Stele of Qinli"
  The previous introduction is the overall appearance characteristics of "The Tablet of Qinli". In order to grasp the inner law of "The Stele of Qinli", one must also master the brushwork methods of its stippling, such as hidden dew, middle side, lifting press, square and circle, speed, straightness, and stroke strength. Only in this way can the problem be solved fundamentally, its specific characteristics can be grasped more accurately, and greater gains can be obtained. Here is a brief introduction to the writing techniques of stippling in "The Stele of Qinli" as follows:

(a little,When writing, "there is something hidden and there is dew", turn to the front and press the pen to spread the pen, pick up the pen as you go, and return to the front to close the pen. Every point must be sideways, and the front will go back and forth. Although there are many changes in the direction and shape of points, they can basically be divided into four types: top-light and bottom-heavy, top-heavy and bottom-light, horizontal point (replacing point with horizontal point) and front point. The dots of Yan characters are as many as dewdrops, the circles are larger, and the shape is thicker than other forms. There are many ways to write dots, which can reflect the echo and agility of the words. Therefore, under the premise of stability, we must pay attention to coherence and echo. As shown in Figure 1, the characters "Zhao", "Book", "Lu", "No" and so on.

(two) horizontal,There are mainly long horizontal, short horizontal, pointed horizontal (one pointed or two pointed) and swallowtail horizontal. When writing, the exposed front enters forward or the hidden front enters reversely, with square and round, the pen runs at the center, and the pen is retracted (the dovetail is drawn horizontally and the pen is stagnant and empty). The horizontal paintings of "The Tablet of Qinli" are slender, and sometimes the brushstrokes do not reach the intention, seemingly inadvertently, but the shape is broken and the meaning is connected, beautiful and free and easy. As shown in Figure 2, the words "Frequency", "Zhen", "Bo" and "Zi" etc., the exposed front does not float, the hidden front does not fall, the short horizontal is mostly concave horizontal, straight horizontal and swallowtail horizontal, and the long horizontal is mostly waist-shaped It is arched upwards, and the two ends of the long and horizontal sides are slightly heavier than the short ones, and the landing point is basically on a horizontal line. Although it is thin but not soft, it is thin and strong, and it is quite attractive.

(3) Vertical,There are mainly hanging exposed vertical, hanging needle vertical, upward pointed vertical, short vertical and oblique short vertical. It is thicker vertically than horizontally, often many times thicker, and the contrast is obvious. Yan Shu's vertical shape is like an iron pillar, and it has the power to break hairpins. As shown in Figure 3, the words "zhou", "sheng", "he", "wen" and so on. For those who hang out, the starting, closing and stopping of the pen are all lighter than those of "Duobao Pagoda Stele". For those who hang the needle, move the brush steadily and gradually, with a long and sharp edge. The upper tip of the pen is raised lightly. Short vertical and oblique short vertical pens have many bends, and there is no pause when closing the pen. Short and vertical, although short and thick, it is powerful. Oblique short vertical, short and delicate, delicate and neat. The vertical paintings of "The Stele of Qinli" are mostly bowed, but the strength can be seen. For example, the two vertical lines are juxtaposed, the left vertical line is thin and short, the right vertical line is thick and long, and they tend to embrace each other. When writing, you must control the speed and increase the pen force.

(4) fold,There are two main types. One is to pick up the pen at the turning point and start it again, and pause the pen on the right to come out of the shoulder, higher than the horizontal line, forming oblique edges and corners (some people call it "returning to the top"), as shown in Figure 4 "Tang", "Si", "Shun", " ", sing", etc., especially the word "mouth" in "si", has been broken into four strokes. The second is that there is no action of lifting the pen at the end of the horizontal stroke or lightly lifting it in a circle, and directly pressing down on the shoulders, the angle between the oblique line and the horizontal line is large, the shoulder is lower than the horizontal line, the inner side is square and the outer side is round, which is very interesting. For example, the words "Same", "Day", "Country", "Yin" etc. in Figure 5. Other folding methods are not difficult, as long as the size and slope of the shoulders change with the direction and position of the strokes. It is really surprising that some of the folded strokes in "The Stele of Qinli" are "arbitrarily" broken off, but you can feel its ancient and majestic spirit after careful consideration. In addition, the left and right short folds also belong to its special strokes. When the folds are written, they are rounded and formed according to the trend, such as the characters "kai", "door", "four", and "ling" in Figure 6. In this way, the color characters avoid the traces of carving and add a sense of agility.

3. Structural features

   "The Stele of Qinli" is a Shinto stele written by Tang Yan Zhenqing for his great-grandfather Yan Qinli when he was 71 years old. This stele has a calm and connotative brushstroke, a broad body, a graceful and upright posture, and the pen gestures are opposite and full of connotations, giving people a sense of solemnity and simplicity. It is not as square and rigorous as "Duobao Pagoda", beautiful and elegant, nor as simple and domineering as "Magu Xiantanji" (Xia Changxian's words). It is one of Yan's representative works of regular script in his later years.

   The structural features of the Stele of Qinli can be summarized as follows:

1. Horizontal light and vertical heavy, the contrast is obvious.Many Chinese characters are composed of horizontal and vertical strokes, or mainly composed of horizontal and vertical strokes. Regarding these characters, the structural treatment of "Monument of Qin Li" is basically horizontal and vertical, with sharp contrast and beautiful form, which reminds people of a pine with a thick trunk and thin branches. Such as "shi" word.

2. Take the momentum vertically, tight inside and loose outside. "The style of Qinli Stele is mostly vertical, so that each character looks very close, but through the use of techniques such as interspersing, bowing, avoiding, virtual and real, the whole character is dignified and stable, with a kind of temple atmosphere. such as "que"

3. The font is square, open-minded and dignified.The Yan character has changed the structure of the side, and is written with relatively flat strokes. The left and right are also basically symmetrical, and the characters are square. It absorbs the ancient seal and official calligraphy, and takes the momentum positively, making people feel solemn and upright with grand connotations. Such as the word "so".

4. Elegant and magnanimous, broad and ancient.Elegant and magnanimous, broad and ancient are the artistic characteristics of Yanti, as well as its structural characteristics. The brushwork of the round pen in the center; the juxtaposition of two vertical lines facing each other creates a kind of tension that expands outwards, which is powerful and dynamic; Such as the word "four".

   In short, "The Tablet of Qinli" has other characteristics. The above points embody the majestic and dignified style.

Here's a look at other strokes:

1. The writing method of Nahua

The brush strokes of the Yan style play a supporting role in the characters, and are often written thicker, with the state of a silkworm head and a swallow tail, that is, starting the brush against the front, making twists and turns, frustrating hard when pressing down, and then forming a missing corner. It generally has three forms: oblique Na, horizontal Na and anti Na.

Slanting:The beginning of the brush mostly hides the front, and the head is turned back and curved, like the head of a silkworm, with the power of suppleness, toughness and tendon strength. Then Zhefeng gradually intensifies towards the lower right, the body posture opens up, and the lower half of the stroke is slightly rolled up, and the pen should be heavily pressed at the place where the foot of the stroke is retracted, and the stroke should be extended. , the foot is slightly larger, so that it has the tendency of falling from the peak and rushing down the torrent. For example, the word "wen" is painted.

Horizontal Nap:Also called calm down. This painting should be written in the shape of water waves. The specific writing method is: Nifeng starts the pen, folds it to the right and down, uses force from light to heavy, when the pen is pressed down, the pen suddenly develops, and then the pen is lifted and pressed out. This Na is often used under the word to play the role of loading. Such as the Na painting of the character "Zhi". When writing this 捺, the pen should be tied tightly, the collar should be able to lift up, and the foot of the 捺 should be fully spread and stretched open. It looks like a heavy-duty boat, giving people the feeling that it can bear the weight of the objects on it.

Anti-squeeze:The writing method of this kind of Na painting is similar to that of long dots. Such as "English" character Na painting. If there are two strokes in a character, we must change one stroke into reverse stroke to increase the vividness and sense of change of the character. Needle vertical. When verticals are paralleled left and right in a character, the left vertical should be short and the right vertical should be long. And the two can't stand upright, they should be facing each other.

Second, the writing method of vertical painting

Vertical paintings play a supporting role in the structure of Chinese characters, and they should be written straight and powerful, like a person standing at attention. Slanted vertical writing will cause the characters to lose their center of gravity. The ancients said: "Stand up like a long live dry vine." It means that the vertical painting should be written vigorously and powerfully. The vertical paintings in "The Monument of Qinli" are generally thick and thick, but if you look closely, you can find that they are various in shape and rich in changes, mainly including hanging vertically, vertically hanging needles, vertically curved heads, thick and vertical waists, and vertical waists. Thin vertical and so on.

Hanging upright:This is a kind of vertical painting with a hidden front at the beginning and end of the brush. When writing, you should hide the head and protect the tail without drooping or shrinking. The specific writing method is: Nifeng starts the pen upward to the left, then folds the pen to the right, and then turns the pen downward to the center. It is worth noting that in the process of writing, you should lift the pen while walking, and press the pen while walking when you reach two-thirds of the way, and finally stop the pen and return to the front to close the pen. The starting and closing of the brush should be slow, the stroke should be slightly fast, the head should be slightly square and the tail should be slightly rounded, the middle section should be slightly thinner, slightly arched, giving people a sense of majesty and strength. Such as the vertical painting of the character "下".

Hanging needle vertical:This is a vertical painting with the head hidden and the tail exposed. The specific writing method is: Nifeng starts the pen upwards to the left, then folds the pen to the right and pauses horizontally, then turns the pen to move downwards, and when it reaches two-thirds of the way, lifts the pen while walking until the tip of the pen is pulled away from the paper. Focus on the tip. When writing this vertical, it should be straight and vigorous, without curvature, and more indulgent, so as to show its free and easy attitude. Such as the vertical character "flat".

Curved head vertical:This is a kind of vertical painting that starts with the dew method, but bends to the left. The specific method of using the pen is: reverse the front to the left, then move upwards, turn the pen to the right to pause, and then move downwards. This kind of vertical painting appears strong and strong in the characters. For example, the left side of the two mouths of the word "gong" is vertical.

Thick waist:This is a short vertical painting, straight and thick, like an iron pillar. This type of vertical painting is thicker in the middle and contains bone strength. For example, the word "mountain" is vertical on the right.

Thin waist:This kind of vertical painting has a slender body, like a slim girl, with her head up and her chest up. For example, the word "shirt" is vertical on the left.

Arc vertical:In Yan style, this kind of vertical is mainly used on the left and right sides of the characters to make the characters open-minded. The method of using the brush is the same as that of vertical dew, except that the posture is slightly arced to the left or right, such as the vertical painting of the word "Xiu". In short, when writing a vertical picture, you must pay attention to: if it is vertical on the left side of the character, you must use "hanging dew", and you must write it thickly and powerfully to prevent the overall character from being skewed. When vertical is the last stroke, use a hanging needle to vertically. When verticals are paralleled left and right in a character, the left vertical should be short and the right vertical should be long. And the two can't stand upright, they should be facing each other.

     "The Monument of Qin Li" is a representative work of Yan Shu, cherished by calligraphers of all ages, and it is a good model for people to learn Yan. The above-mentioned characteristics are only its main and obvious features. If you broaden your observation angle and carefully ponder, you will definitely find more discoveries. In practice, we can continue to study, experience carefully, deepen our comprehension, and strive to follow the writing to the law and be decent.