Cai Xiang (1012-1067), Song dynasty
Album leaf, 23 x 29.2 cm
Cai Xiang (style name Junmo) was a native of Xianyou in Fujian. A Presented Scholar of 1030, his career in office went smoothly as he served up to posts in the Censorate and Historiography Institute. Loyal and upright by nature, he was gifted at poetry and prose as well while excelling at calligraphy. Cai first studied the style of Zhou Yue but later included the manners of Yan Zhenqing, Yu Shinan, and Wang Xianzhi. Cai’s letters in running and regular script are classical and beautiful.
This letter is also known as “Summer Heat” or “Fine Tea,” while the one on the left is also called “Early in Spring.” The character size and their heaviness and density all rise and fall with Cai’s emotions, appearing casual and flowing. The rhythm of the lines and their turns vary in terms of thickness, creating for an individual manner. This leaf is from the album “Ink Treasures by the Four Song Masters.”