元 赵孟頫 行书洛神赋卷
Ode of the Nymph of the Luo River, semi-cursive script
Yuan dynasty, 4th year of the Dade period(1300)
Hand scroll, ink on paper
Height 29.2cm, Width 193cm
This scroll features a semi-cursive script version of Ode of the Nymph of the Luo River, a piece of narrative verse by the poet and author Cai Zhi of the Cao Wei Kingdom of the Three Kingdoms period(220-65). Including the preface there are 67 columns of text on the scroll. This piece of calligraphy was written in 1300, in the 4th year of the Dade period of the Yuan dynasty. It is carefully composed, with rounded and fluent brushwork. Its air of orderly beauty makes it exemplary of Zhao Mengfu’s semi-cursive works. The end of the scroll features colophons from He Xinshan and Ni Zan of the Yuan dynasty, and an inscription noting that it has been viewed by Ying He in the Qing dynasty.
Zhao Mengfu had the style name Zi Ang and the personal name Pine and Snow Man of the Dao. He was a native of Wuxing in Zhejiang, and a member of the Song imperial Clan. He was known in his lifetime as Pine and Snow Zhao(Zhao Songxue) and Zhao the Literary Adept(Zhao Wenmin).Zhao was an exceptional calligrapher, excelling in seal, clerical,regular and running cursive script. He stressed the need for an awareness of the ancient masters in producing calligraphic work, and had a great influence on subsequent generations.