The human culture in Shanxi is brilliant. There were great painting and calligraphy artists between generations in Shanxi. Their works had been handed down from generation to generation and became more and more brilliant up to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
In the early Ming Dynasty, Zhu Gang built a vassal state in Jinyang. An imperial clansman as he was, Zhu was enthusiastic about calligraphy. In the Ming Dynasty, there were many famous Shanxi calligraphers and painters. Unfortunately, few of their masterpieces were left behind, and what remains, even a small piece, has become a treasure. After the establishment of the Qing Dynasty, Shanxi painting and calligraphy circles presented a new face. Throughout the dynasty, there werethree outstanding masters, namely Fu Qingzhu in Taiyuan, Qi Junzao in Shouyang, and Zhao Tieshan in Taigu. Fu Qingzhu hated to see his country fall into the rule of a different race, and refused to be subject. He resorted topracticing the cursive script to express his indignation, eventually setting up a new kind of calligraphy style. Qi Junzao was diligent in administration, loved the people, and pioneered in anti-drug He and Lin Zexu expressed a common ambition in calligraphy and painting, and showed sincere affection to each other. Their friendship has been passed on as a good story. Qi was also the teacher of three emperors and his calligraphy was profound, vigorous and unique. Zhao Tieshan was proficient in stone inscription. His calligraphy traced back to the six dynasties spanning the period from the 3rd to the 6th century. Kang Youwei once commented that"to the north of the Great River, there was no one beyond Zhao Tieshan". Zhao’s calligraphy featured forceful strokes which explicitly embodied national integrity. Around the three talents, there were many followers. Besides them, there were also many other bright stars which featured colorful styles.
The cultural and artistic lineage is highlighted by painting and calligraphy. A history of Shanxi painting and calligraphy in the Ming and Qing dynasties is also a 500-year course of ups and downs of intellectuals in Shanxi. The exhibition exhibits Shanxi paintings and calligraphy works from the Ming and Qing dynasties collected by provincial museums in order to make their artistic stylesseen. The list of painters or calligraphers included may not be complete and the works on show may not be quintessential, butone can still gain an insightful glimpse from the exhibition.