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Tang Dynasty Copy of “Lan Ting Xu” (Brown Silk Paper Scroll)
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Copies produced during Tang Dynasty are of the highest value. This “Lan Ting Xu” scroll currently in the collection of the Hunan Provincial Museum was originally attributed to Chu Suiliang. Many seals were affixed on this object during Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D.) and Dong Qichang, the famous calligrapher and connoisseur of Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D.) sealed it with two Chinese character “墨宝 (treasure of calligraphy)”. Later, textual research shows that it is not a copy produced by Chu Suiliang, but it is still of high value since the imitator is very competent and has reproduced the elegance and beauty of the original. As a piece of art of calligraphy produced at early Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. – 712 A.D.), it is of great artistic and historical value.

History of the Object
Lan Ting Xu (Preface to the Lanting Collection of Poems) is the masterpiece written by Wang Xizhi (317 A.D. – 420 A.D., born in the Jin Dynasty and regarded as the best calligrapher in Chinese history) and is credited as the “No.1 Xingshu (running script)” in the history of Chinese calligraphy. Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (January 23, 599 – July 10, 649, ruling from 626 A.D to 649 A.D) loved this masterpiece very much and he ordered several contemporary famous calligraphers (including Feng Chengsu, Yu Shinan, Zhu Suiliang and so on) to imitate this running script. Ten copies were produced and given to his loyal subjects by Emperor Taizong. It is said that the authentic “Lan Ting Xu” was buried with the Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty in his mausoleum. The “Lan Ting Xu” scrolls that the later generations discovered were all either traced copies of previous versions or simply copies.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Brown silk paper 
Measurements
Width 24.5 cm. Length 65.6 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 7th century ~ AD 8th century 
Creation date
7th Century - 8th Century; 618-712; Early Tang Dynasty 
Function
For appreciation 
Acquisition
Collected by the Hunan Cultural Relics Management Committee in 1952 with the price of 500,000 yuan (about 50 yuan nowadays, or $9.) Later it was assigned to the Hunan Provincial Museum in June, 1958. 
Copyright
Hunan Provincial Museum Copyright 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Hunan Provincial Museum 
Museum
Hunan Provincial Museum 
Credit line
http://www.hnmuseum.com/hnmuseum/eng 

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