Xu Xuan (916-991) was a writer in the Five Dynasties and early Song Dynasty. The courtesy name is Dingchen. A native of Guangling (now Yangzhou, Jiangsu). In his early years, he served as an official in the Southern Tang Dynasty and became the Minister of the Ministry of Personnel. Later, he returned to the Song Dynasty with Li Yu, and became a regular servant of Sanqi. He was known as Xuqi Province in the world. In the second year of Chunhua (991), he was demoted to the rank of Sima Jingnan Marching Army, and died in his demoted position soon after.

He is good at Li Si Xiaozhuan and also specializes in official script. He and his younger brother Xu Kai were the most outstanding seal script calligraphers at that time, and were known as the "Two Xus". They revised the "Shuowen Jiezi". In addition, in the fifth year of Chunhua in the Northern Song Dynasty (994), the Qin Dynasty's "Yishan Carved Stones" was re-engraved, which was based on Xu Xuan's copy. When looking at the seal script written by Xu Xuan in the sun, there is a line of thick ink in the center of the strokes. Because the tip of the stroke goes straight down without turning sideways, the tip of the stroke is often in the painting. The old people also call it like "house leak mark" or "cone painting sand" . The Heilongjiang Provincial Museum has his "Fragments of a Thousand-Character Seal Script" (a copy of the Song Dynasty).




Fragment of the Thousand-Character Seal Script (Click to download the larger image) Collection of Heilongjiang Provincial Museum


"Sincerity Note" in running script (click to download the larger image) Paper volume 29.1x44.8 cm Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei

  Hyun Jin has his own sincerity. Tez please. For the first time, there was the Liu family who was the successor. His flesh and bones live in Lilingmen of Guifan. All the Lius were married first. Zhang Balang, a wealthy family member in Chaling County, Hengzhou. See living here. Now I have a token of honor and a letter. All are sealed with a corner seal. He was entrusted with the new capital to supervise He Sheren. Please turn to my brother Langzhong. Waiting. I hope you will send someone to call someone named Liu inside Liling Gate. Ask in person. But he ordered him to send a letter to Zhang Balang of Chaling County. Order to go to your domain to pick up the last letter. What is valuable will not be lost. Tatsuya who can reach it. Tuansui entrusted him. Only deep inscriptions. Pious and pious. Special brief information. Not announced. (). Goodbye.   

Appendix "Xuanhe Shupu" Volume 2 seal script Xu Xuan's entry:
Xu Xuan, courtesy name Dingchen, was born in Jiangzuo. Li Yu, the pseudo-lord of the south of the Yangtze River, rose to the rank of imperial censor. He is admired by the world for his elegance. When he came to this dynasty, the scholars wanted to see his style. Now that the south of the Yangtze River is at peace, Sui Yu returns to the court. During the reign of Emperor Taizong, the imperial edict of the Zhixue Academy was called appropriate. Paying attention to the official script, I tried to indulge in secular learning of calligraphy and painting, so I recorded "Shuowen" in the official script. It was like a big fly, and it accumulated tens of thousands of words to teach future generations. He is especially good at seal script and Bafen. Those who know him say that after Yang Bing, the only person who continued the seal script technique was Xuan. On the day in Jiangzuo, when the book was still unfinished and returned to our dynasty, I saw a copy of Li Si's "Yishan". He said that he had made a secret contract, so he searched for the old characters, burned them and threw them away, so that he could understand that what was yesterday was not what it is now. Later posters of his calligraphy said: "The pen is solid and the calligraphy and painting are vigorous, just like his articles. As for the seal script, his temperament is ancient, almost competing with Yang Bing." This is not a private statement, it is the word of the world. Xu Shen's "Shuowen" was edited and published in thirty volumes by imperial edict. It is also said that the Zai plaque method was only obtained in old age, and those who know it will understand it. There are seven seal scripts in the collection of the Imperial Palace today: "Dao Bu Qi Fu" (top and bottom two), "Cicada Fu" (one), "Zhuan Li" (two) and "Qian Wen" (two).