A Short Biography of Sun Guo Ting (孫過庭/Sun Kuo T’ing)
The Tang Dynasty is well known as the era in which the Chinese calligraphy tradition both established its roots firmly in the society, and achieved some of its most sublime heights. While much of the groundwork for this calligraphic revolution was accomplished by such early court figures as Ouyang Xun (歐陽詢/ Ou-yang Hsün, 557-641 CE) and Yu Shinan (虞世南/Yü Shih-nan, 558-638), Sun Guoting (646-691) might be said to epitomize the idea of the amateur Tang calligraphy master.
A Brief Biography of Yan Zhen Qing (顏真卿/Yen Chen Ch’ing)
As the Tang dynasty wore on, a figure arose who would redefine calligraphy, challenging even Wang Xi Zhi as the pre-eminent calligrapher. Yan Zhen Qing (709-785 CE) is sometimes known as the ‘second prophet’ of calligraphy. This status, just slightly behind Wang Xi Zhi, is more likely due to his later historical period than to any quantifiable difference in skill.