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Purple Gold Inkstone (紫金研帖)

Mi Fu (米芾, 1051–1107), Song Dynasty (960–1279)

Album leaf, ink on paper, 28.2 x 39.7 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei

       This work narrates how Mi Fu’s prized Purple Gold Inkstone, which had been taken away by Su Shi, was about to be buried with Su after his death, but, fortunately for Mi Fu, he was able to finally have his prized possession returned. The joy of his emotions overflow onto paper in the form of an inscription of appreciation. The varied spacing of the lines is free and easy, following the mood of his spirit in the text as it modulates back and forth, the calligraphy possessing a rhythm of fast and slow as well as light and heavy. The lively and quick brushwork flows in an uninterrupted manner. The overall bearing is bold and outstanding, but also reveals a state of naturalness and pure innocence.

Purple Gold Inkstone