Engraved Calligraphy in Woodblock Print Books (QI Xiaochun)

Abstract: What is “engraved calligraphy”? Generally speaking, everything in old books that is hand carved onto the printing-block, including handwritten character forms or book-engraver forms which developed out of handwritten character forms, may be referred to as “engraved calligraphy”. Extant old books from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing periods contain abundant examples of “engraved calligraphy”.
Why should we study “engraved calligraphy”? From the perspective of art historical research we may say that, firstly, research on the history of calligraphy really developed out of studying calligraphers, their extant works as well as treatises on calligraphy. For this reason the gathering of calligraphic material from all periods is one of the basic foundations of this field. Secondly, apart from the handwriting of distinguished calligraphers we also find examples of the handwritings of politicians, thinkers, literati scholars, poets, painters and the like from all periods among extant “engraved calligraphy”. These reflect their calligraphic style and aesthetic taste and therefore present important evidence in investigating the connection between the artist and their work of art. Thirdly, “engraved calligraphy” found in old books for the most part shows examples of the highest level of handwriting, which makes them highly valuable material from the perspective of calligraphy as an art form. Fourthly, the study of “engraved calligraphy” not only remedies the lack of original material in the field of the history of calligraphy, but can also be used as a means of investigating the calligraphic fashion and aesthetic trends of the time that they were produced in. This is a new approach that hasn’t been attempted so far in the field of calligraphy history.
This lecture will make use of the speaker’s recently published book Examples of Engraved Calligraphy in Old Books to discuss and resolve the above mentioned problems.

古籍刻本上的手写书迹 (祁小春)

摘要:什么是“版刻书迹”?一般来说,古籍中凡是以手写上版者,包括手写体或手写体演化的刻书字体,均可称作“版刻书迹”。在现存宋元明清各时期的古籍中蕴藏着丰富的“版刻书迹”。
为什么要研究“版刻书迹”?从艺术史研究来看:一,书法史研究,实际上是以历代书人、书迹和书论作为对象而展开的,因此对历代书迹资料的收集整理是书法史领域中最基础的研究之一。二,除了书法家的书迹之外,古籍版刻书迹的书写者还包括各时代的政治家、思想家、文人学者、诗人画家等身份,从这些书迹中反映出来的书法风格以及审美趣味,是考察艺术家与作品之间关联性的重要依据之一。三,古籍中的“版刻书迹”,往往可以代表书写者的最高水准,从书法艺术角度来看,这些资料极为珍贵。四,研究“版刻书迹”不仅可以弥补书法史中书迹与书家资料的不足,还可籍以考察由次所反映出来那个时代的书写风气与审美取向,这是书法史论领域迄今为止未曾尝试的一个新的探索。
本讲座将节选作者近著《古籍版刻书迹例说》相关内容,以例说方式对以上诸问题试做解答。

 


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