Meaning of WEN CHENG-MING in English

born 1470, Heng-yang, Hunan province, China died 1559 Pinyin Wen Zhengming, original name Wen Pi Chinese painter, calligrapher, and scholarly figure who was a student of Shen Chou, the two being considered the leading figures of the Wu school of scholar-artists in China. Born to an established family, Wen Cheng-ming was brought up in a strongly Confucian home, and he met many of the learned people of his time. He was by nature sensitive and withdrawn, and it was not until the age of 53 in 1523 that he emerged from his scholarly isolation, receiving the recognition of the court with his appointment to the Hanlin Academy. He stayed there for only three years and then retired to produce his best-known works. Wen Cheng-ming was expert at the four major styles of calligraphy: seal, official, regular, and running. He was also known as a collector and connoisseur, especially of calligraphy. In painting he admired the great literati (wen-jen) of the Yan dynasty (12061368) as well as earlier artists from the Sung (9601279) and Five Dynasties (907960) periods. He followed no single style, but throughout his paintings there is a spirit of studied antiquarianism and cautious consideration; in technique, the paintings range from the highly detailed to the more freely washed. His students included his son, Wen Chia (150183), and his nephew, Wen Po-jen (150275).

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