Cai Xiang (1012-1067), courtesy name Junmo, was born in Xinghua (now Xianyou, Fujian). Jinshi in the eighth year of Tiansheng (1030), he served in the central government of the Song Dynasty as a Collector, Zhijianyuan, Zhishiguan, Zhizhigao, Longtuge Zhibao, Privy Council Zhibao, Hanlin Bachelor, Third Secretary, Duanming He held the title of bachelor and other positions in the palace, and served as the transfer envoy to Fujian Road (today's Fuzhou City, Fujian Province), knowing the affairs of Quanzhou, Fuzhou, Kaifeng (today's Kaifeng City, Henan Province) and Hangzhou. After his death, he was given the posthumous title of "Zhonghui" by the Minister of Rites. Cai Xiang was loyal, honest, trustworthy, and knowledgeable. In the history of calligraphy, when it comes to calligraphy in the Song Dynasty, there are four great calligraphers: Su, Huang, Mi, and Cai. They are considered to be typical representatives of the calligraphy style of the Song Dynasty. Among the "Four Song Schools", the first three refer to Su Shi (Dongpo), Huang Tingjian (Fu Weng) and Mi Fu (Xiangyang Manshi). Among the four families in the Song Dynasty, Cai Xiang should be ahead of Su, Huang and Mi in age. From the perspective of calligraphy style, Su Wu is plump and plump; Huang Tingjian is vertical and horizontal; Mi Fu is handsome and bold. They have their own style of calligraphy. Su, Huang and Mi are all good at running cursive and regular script, but they like to write regular regular script. , or Cai Xiang. Cai Xiang's calligraphy is vigorous, dignified, simple and graceful, and is self-contained. Unrolling the scroll of Cai Xiang's calligraphy, I suddenly felt a spring breeze blowing on my face, full of beauty and elegance.

  Cai Xiang's calligraphy was highly praised by his contemporaries during his lifetime, and he enjoyed a high reputation. The people who most highly praised his calligraphy skills were Su Dongpo and Ouyang Xiu. Su Dongpo pointed out in "Dongpo's Inscriptions and Postscripts": "Ducai Junmo has high talent, profound knowledge, good mind and hand, and endless transformations, so he is the best in this dynasty. However, running script is the best, followed by small regular script, and then cursive script... ... He also tasted his intentions and said that he has the power of flying dragons and dancing phoenixes. Those who know him will not think it too much." Ouyang Xiu's evaluation of Cai Xiang's calligraphy was beyond praise. Ouyang Xiu said: "After Su Zimei's death, he realized that his calligraphy Zhongjue. In recent years, Junmo has been alone in the world, but he has been humble and refused to lead an alliance." ("Ouyang Wenzhonggong Collection") Huang Tingjian also said: "Su Zimei and Cai Junmo are both heroes of calligraphy." ("Valley Collection") Northern Song Dynasty scientist Shen Kuo, in In "Mengxi Bi Tan", he commented on Cai Xiang's cursive script: "Using loose brush to make cursive script, it is called loose grass, or flying grass. The methods are all born in Feibai and have their own family. The ancient charm of Zhang Xu Huaisu has the potential to change. , yet indulgent and full of ancient meaning.”

  "History of Song Dynasty: Biography of Cai Xiang" said of him: "Xiang was the best in calligraphy in the world, and Renzong especially loved him." Xu Jiang's "Biography of Cai Xiang" said: "Gong is very self-respecting in calligraphy and painting, and he does not act rashly. Everyone treasures the broken chapters and incomplete manuscripts, and Renzong especially loves to call them." Zhu Changwen's "Continuation of the Book": Cai Xiang's calligraphy is very self-respecting, not taking it lightly as a book, and sharing it with others. Everyone hides it as a treasure. Renzong loved his relics...he wrote the "Queen Wencheng's Stele" written by a bachelor and wrote it in the imperial edict. Jun Moci refused to write it, saying: "This is waiting for an imperial edict. The Confucian's work is just a leisurely work. Isn't it right?" How about a skilled man working as a slave?"

  From the above three paragraphs of records, we can know that Cai Xiang's calligraphy was cherished by both the emperor and ordinary people. Because he cherished himself and did not rush to write for others, there are few handed down works. In addition, it can be seen that the trend in the calligraphy world at that time had completely turned to poetry and writing, while calligraphy and tablets were regarded as a matter of labor for a skilled man, which was disdained by scholar-bureaucrats, and even the emperor's edict could no longer influence it. This is fundamentally different from the situation before the Tang Dynasty.

  Cai Xiang is not a master who founded a sect. Generally speaking, his calligraphy still adheres to the laws of the Jin and Tang Dynasties, and his awareness of innovation is slightly lower. But he is an indispensable key figure in the development of calligraphy in the Song Dynasty. With his complete calligraphy achievements, he built a technical bridge between the laws of Jin and Tang Dynasties and the taste of Song people. Cai Xiang's ink writings handed down from generation to generation include "Poems Written by Himself", "Poems Written by Xie Ci", "Tao Sheng Tie", "Jiao Burnt Tie" and "Meng Hui Tie". His inscriptions include "Wan'an Bridge", Treasures such as "Zijintang Ji" and "Wanggui Stone" and "Guoshiyan" in regular script of Lingyuan Cave in Gushan.