An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Chunhuage tie shiwen 淳化閣帖釋文

Oct 6, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

(Qinding chongke) Chunhuage tie shiwen (欽定重刻)淳化閣帖釋文 "(Imperially endorsed reprint of the) Explanations to the texts of the model calligraphies of the Chunhua Hall", also called (Qinding jiaozheng) Chunhuage tie shiwen 欽定校正淳化閣帖釋文 "Revised reprint...", is a critical description on the Song-period 宋 (960-1279) model calligraphies stored in the Chunhua Hall (see Chunhua fatie 淳化法帖).

The 10-juan long book was compiled on imperial order of the Qianlong Emperor 乾隆帝 (r. 1735-1796) under the supervision of Ji Yun 紀昀 (1724-1805) and was finished in 1769. It describes the model calligraphies that the imperial court in 993 presented to the collector Bi Shi'an 畢士安 (938-1005), and that he stored in his library (閣帖 "library model boards").

The compilers had to search for all reproductions and descriptions of these models and critically revised them. The most important treatises concerned with the Chunhua models had been written by Liu Cizhuang 劉次莊 (Fatie shiwen 法帖釋文), Huang Bosi 黃伯思 (1079-1118), Jiang Kui 姜夔 (1155-1221), Shi Su 施宿 (1164-1222), Gu Congyi 顧從義 and Wang Shu 王澍 (Chunhamige fatie kaozheng 淳化祕閣法帖考正).

The models were written in different calligraphic styles, ranging from large seal script to grass script (caoshu 草書). The compilers of the Chunhuage tie shiwen transcribed the text into standard script and discussed the correctness of the writing styles. In 1778 Vice Minister (shilang 侍郎) Gingiyan (d. 1794, Ch. Jinjian 金簡) produced a stone version of the Chunhuage models that was placed in the Inner Palace. The calligraphies themselves are not included in the book.

Figure 1. Wang Xizhi's 王羲之 Qiyue tie 七月帖
Qinding chongke Chuhuage tie 欽定重刻淳化閣帖, juan4, Jinren fatie 晉人法帖, in black-canvas rubbing (wujin tuo 烏金拓) style. Each character of the calligraphy is transposed into regular script. From Guji zihua fenxiang 古籍字畫分享.

The book is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1507.