The Controversy Around Emperor Huizong's Calligraphy Works

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Emperor Huizong, a born talented artist with Slender-Gold style
This research paper will primarily discuss and argue around emperor Huizong’s and his creative calligraphy works. And the core argument is that besides the most famous four calligraphers, Cai Xiang(蔡襄), Su Shi(苏轼), Huang Tingjian(黄庭坚), and Mi Fu(米芾) in northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Huizong’s Slender-Gold style represents the extraordinary uniqueness that no one after could achieve. And this because what I believe in Yuan dynasty’s prime minister Tuitui(脱脱)’s saying: “宋徽宗诸事皆能,独不能为君耳!” The paper will follow the order starting with the background, the root of Slender-Gold style, Huizong’s calligraphy works specifically in detailed, and my own perception and option accordingly.
Northern
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By simply viewing this figure, a beautiful image is automatically generated in my brain: starting from the simple flowers, then painted with colors, people around them with ceremony, and finally emperor Huizong finished his work. Even though we did not know in what situation exactly this masterpiece was created, we can still feel the general positive symbols, or fortune that Huizong want to depicts and bring to his country. My belief could be summarized as calligraphers leave the future with masterpiece, and the masterpiece presents the wish of the calligraphers in the past. By looking at another figure to have a comparison, it may bring out clearer clue. The figure two is actually only one short section from the whole calligraphy work “楷书千字文“, and usually this kind of calligraphy is used for people in the future to practice copying or imitating, but Huizong’s “楷书千字文”seems to endow each Chinese character with souls. For instance, the first character in the second row is called Zhu(竹), which translated as bamboo in English. People may get shocked that this character literally shows how the actual bamboo grows as plant because each bamboo joint is apparently written in the form of whole character, and each joint is so straight that reflected on each stroke done by Huizong. In the same row, the third character is called Zhang(章), which is usually connected to the law,…show more content…
And the history fact recorded that what Huizong implemented during his authority period could not be doubted, however, I believe the main reason that people could not copy Huizong’s calligraphy is the difference of social status. As an emperor, Huizong did not carry enough responsibility on him, or in other words, he attempted to manage the country in the correct method, but failed since he mistakenly deployed Cai and the others as important roles in politics, and his power are transferred. Nevertheless, as an emperor, I believe no one wish to destroy the country from the beginning and the ending of Northern Song dynasty is not only contributed by Emperor Huizong himself, which I found proof from Chinese scholar Chongyue Ren(任崇岳) and his article “简论宋徽宗”. He wrote that even Emperor Huizong should be criticized and blamed for the ending of the dynasty, but because of the accumulated conflicts among different social class, nations, and the severe budging crisis of the country, even with several revolutions, people did not make further breakthrough eventually. (Reference 4, p5) The following is the original text: “众所周知, 北宋自真宗以降, 阶级矛盾、民族矛盾激化, 财政危机加深 , 宋朝的统治已处在风雨飘摇之中岌岌可危。有识之士为挽救危机, 提出了各种各样的主张, 从真宗时王副如应诏上书, 建言事, 仁宗时的 庆历新政, 直到神宗时的王安石变法, 都在弹精竭虑, 想使宋王朝摆脱危机, 重振雄风。可惜的是, 由于种种原因,

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