2020 Volume 2020 Issue 30 Pages 55-69,159-158
This paper looks at how the calligraphic styles of Cai Yong (132-192) were evaluated in the Tang period and examines their contribution to the history of calligraphy in the Tang period based on descriptions about his calligraphic styles in documents, mainly in Shuluns in the Tang period.
The research revealed a significant number of mentions in Tang and Song documents that regard Cai Yong as the Shudanzhe of model texts in the Han and Wei periods, with three common characteristics discovered among many of the existing models. In Shuluns in the Tang period after the publication of Shuduan by Zhang Huaiguan, Cai Yong wins established appraisal as a master of calligraphy who excels in paleography, with some renewed evaluation from new perspectives, including special comments about his ability to handle more than one calligraphic style.
These evaluations of Cai Yong's calligraphic styles emphasize their close relationship with the styles of emperors, Xuanzong in particular. It is suggested strongly that Cai Yong played a role in supporting the development of various new calligraphic styles in and after the Shengtang period through his evaluation as a pioneer of calligraphers who use more than one style. Accordingly, it is concluded that the calligraphic styles of Cai Yong in the Tang period played a symbolic role that gave authority to the new calligraphic styles that arose during and after the Shengtang period, including those used by emperors.
This paper is significant in that it found through evaluations of Cai Yong's calligraphic styles how they influenced Tang emperors in choosing their calligraphic styles, and that it detected the existence of a turning point in choosing calligraphic styles in the Tang period.