Calligraphic Scroll in Running Script by Zhang Jianxun, Qing Dynasty


Zhang Jianxun was born in a famous family of scholars in Guilin. His family fortunes declined during the chaos caused by Taiping Heavenly Rebellion when he was three and he lived an impoverished life from then on. After seeing clearly the fickleness of human nature, Zhang Jianxun worked hard in study and passed the Provincial Examination by virtue of the good result as the sixth place in the Fifteenth year of Guangxu reign and won No.1 in the Palace Examination with his discourse named Food Is the Paramount Necessity of the People. In the twenty-third year of Guangxu reign, Zhang worked as the provincial education commissioner of Yunnan. He compiled textbooks, repaired academy and risked his life by shuttling between high mountains and great rivers to accomplish the inspection tours several times a year. He was regarded as a meritorious statesman that brought up local education of Yunnan. The people of Yunnan presented him a huge horizontal board inscribed with "Da Hu Dian Wen". 

This running-script calligraphic scroll was written by Zhang Jianxun at the fifth year after he worked as the provincial education commissioner of Yunnan. The characters are forceful and straight in structure, gorgeous and neat in layout; natural and smooth in demeanor as being written at one stretch. His calligraphy is well-received by the Japanese people after being spread there. People of the time wrote a poem for eulogizing Zhang Jianxun: "Culturing people as it is widely anticipated, devoted to learning till the end. Being adept at articles and proficient in calligraphy, he accomplished masterpiece immediately by simply wielding his writing brush with wine".