Rubbings of Chinese Calligraphy: Transmission and Preservation
Ever since Calligraphy has been a celebrated art form, ink rubbing has contributed to the tradition by providing a means of transmitting and preserving works far beyond the likely lifespan of an ink and paper work. Although paper and ink became the standard media for calligraphy, the origins of Chinese writing in inscriptions was never forgotten. Even after writing styles began to emphasize the fluidity and movement that ink could provide, works were inscribed on stone so that they would not fall prey to the vagaries of time. More than this, inscribed works could be reproduced quite easily in the form of rubbings.
Calligraphy and Painting – The Sister Arts of the Chinese Literati
In China, traditional painting and calligraphy may be taken together as the defining visual arts of the historical elites. These two art forms, sharing the very same materials, have for centuries defined the aesthetic sensibilities of the lettered classes. In the West, we often think of words and images to be entirely different modes of communication. In China, this stark separation has not been created. Here, we’ll attempt to decipher some of the ways in which Calligraphy and Painting influenced each other in the Chinese tradition so that we can understand each discipline a little more fully.
The Role of Chinese Calligraphy as a Literary Art in Poetry
While most of the articles on this website focus on calligraphy as a visual art, it is also a literary art. The words chosen for a calligraphic work are just as important as the excellence of their realization. While short propitious phrases, tracts from philosophical or religious texts, essays, and even personal letters have all been cites of calligraphic work, poetry is perhaps the most common focus of calligraphy.