The Four Treasures of Chinese Calligraphy: Background information when reading Four Treasures of the Sky

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Four Treasures of the Sky

A Novel

by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang X
Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2022, 336 pages

    Apr 2022, 336 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Maria Katsulos
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About this Book

The Four Treasures of Chinese Calligraphy

This article relates to Four Treasures of the Sky

Chinese calligrapher Sun Xinde creating calligraphy on paper with an ink brush In Four Treasures of the Sky, heroine Daiyu arrives at Master Wang's calligraphy school as an orphan looking for work. She quickly becomes his best student as she learns about the titular four treasures: brush, ink, paper and ink stone. Since the time of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420–589 CE), these items have been acknowledged in Chinese calligraphy as the "four treasures of the study." Broadly speaking, calligraphy is defined as an artistic and decorative form of handwriting. Though it would take volumes and volumes of text to trace the entire history of calligraphy in China, we can explore its general progression, and take a closer look at each of the treasures of the study.

The Chinese written language began to develop over 3,000 years ago, with pictograms and ideographs cut into jade stone or oracle bones, or cast into bronze. During the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), ink and paper began to be used to create calligraphy. From early on in the art form's ...

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