The Art of Chinese Calligraphy

China, among other things, is famous for its calligraphy. Chinese calligraphy is a very difficult art to master, and takes a lot of skill and dedication. In this article, you will read about some of the history of Chinese calligraphy and some of the most famous calligraphists.


Some may say that the history of Chinese calligraphy is about as long as the history of China itself. In studying Chinese calligraphy, one needs to know at least a little bit about the language of China, and about how characters are formed. The early chinese words were referred to as pictorial images. The meaning of each image was based solely on the reader’s perception and imagination. The earliest logographs were drawn onto animal bones, and was known as 甲骨文 (jiá gǔ wén). 甲骨文 is based on Chinese ancient religious, mythological prognostication, or rituals, which makes it known as well as bone script. This form of script was used during the Shang Dynasty. If you don’t know 倉頡 (Cangjie), he is a legendary Chinese writer, who is said to have developed his writing ideas based on animal footprints and claw prints in the sand, and developed simple images to represent different objects.

Here are some names of some famous Chinese calligraphists from the past:

一。Wang Duo (1592-1652)

二。Zhang Zuyi (1849-1917)

三。 Hu Shu (1825-1872)



There are 12 comments

  1. Eric Wang

    Great article Dylan, I never knew this much about Chinese calligraphy, now I know and it’s so nice to know about it so thanks for telling me about Chinese calligraphy!

  2. Wesley Pergament

    It’s amazing to see how this art evolved over time! It definitely changed dramatically from the Chinese I’m learning now. Thank you for writing this interesting article.

  3. Richard R

    Chinese calligraphy seems very interesting, and I liked your article because it also talks about the history behind Chinese characters.

  4. Hitomi Honda

    I learned a lot about Chinese calligraphy and the history behind it in this article, such as how writing ideas may have been based on animal footprints. I really liked that you added examples of Chinese calligraphists and pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Pratim

    I liked this article because it gave a brief but interesting history of Chinese history. I learned that Chinese calligraphy was as old as Chinese history itself and Characters were originally drawn on bones.

  6. Mathew Liang

    I like how this article shows the meaning of characters and why they draw it like that because when you learn Chinese the closest thing you get to explanations for the characters are radicals and it only partly explains it

  7. Joanne Li

    I really liked how you added examples of each famous calligrapher! I had no idea that characters today had originated as bone script. Nice job!!

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