Stele for Duke Wen

StelefortheDukeWencover

The other day I went to the Palace Museum in Taipei. The new exhibition displayed and ink rubbing from the stele for the Duke Zheng Wengong 熒陽鄭文公之碑墨拓本. A stele is a stone slab erected as a monument. This stele is dated Northern Wei dynasty (386-535), but the rubbing is newer. Nevertheless steles before the Tang dynasty (618–907) are rare and give us a glimpse of Chinese characters before their formalisation during Tang.

StelefortheDukeWen2

StelefortheDukeWen3

What I found fascinating about the rubbing is how some stroke-parts (usually written without lifting the brush) appear to be written with a new stroke. I am not suggesting the author of the original inscription did, but still…

StelefortheDukeWendetail1

StelefortheDukeWendetail2

StelefortheDukeWendetail3

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There is a full resolution image of one of these rubbings here.
http://theme.npm.edu.tw/exh107/calligraphy10704/en/index.html

 

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