Wen Zhengming

Wen Zhengming (zh-tspw|t=文徵明|s=文征明|p=Wén Zhēngmíng|w=Wen Cheng-ming, 1470–1559) was a leading Ming Dynasty painter, calligrapher, and scholar.

Born in present-day Suzhou, he claimed to be a descendant of the Song Dynasty prime minister and patriot Wen Tianxiang. Wen’s family was originally from Hengyang, Hunan, where his family had established itself shortly after the 10th century. Not until the time of Wen's great-grandfather, Wen Hui, a military officer, did the family move to the Suzhou area.

Wen often chose painting subjects of great simplicity, like a single tree or rock. His work often brings about a feeling of strength through isolation, which often reflected his discontent with official life. Many of his works also celebrate the contexts of elite social life for which they were created. He collaborated in the design of the Humble Administrator's Garden, generally considered one of China's four greatest gardens.

References

* Clunas, Craig. "Elegant Debts: The Social Art of Wen Zhengming, 1470-1559". London: Reaktion Books, 2004.
*Shan, Guoqiang, [http://www.wordpedia.com/search/Content.asp?ID=77894 "Wen Zhengming"] . "Encyclopedia of China" (Arts Edition), 1st ed.

External links

* [http://www.worcesterart.org/Collection/Chinese/1960.10.html Worcester Art Museum - Bamboo, Orchids, Rock, and Calligraphy]
* [http://cla.calpoly.edu/~jwetzel/China/slides/OldCypressAndRock.html Old Cypress & Rock, Wen Zhengming, 1550]
* [http://www.dia.org/collections/asian/76.3.htm The First Prose Poem on the Red Cliff, 1555]


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