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祝允明(1460-1526)


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祝允明像
清代顾沅辑,道光九年刻本《吴郡名贤图传赞》,孔继尧绘。

   字希哲、晞喆。因右手多生一指,故自号支指生、枝指生、枝指山人、枝山、枝山居士、枝山樵人等。世称“祝京兆”。长洲(今江苏吴县)人,自幼就聪慧过人,五岁时能写一尺见方的大字,九岁会作诗,以后博览群书,诗文有奇气。弘治五年(1429)中举,以后便久试不第, 正德九年(1514),他被授为广东兴宁县知县,在岭南五年,后升任为应天(今南京)府通判,正德十四年(1519)年称病还乡。他的仕途与他的祖辈和儿子来说,都相差甚远,实际上他是一个不得意的文人。他和唐寅等人意气相投,玩世狂放。与唐寅、文徵明、徐祯卿并称为 “吴中四才子”。晚年,他喜独居作诗文,崇尚魏晋风流和禅宗,生活更加放浪形骸而不乐拘检,甚至玩世不恭,在吴门派中,他算最具有文人特质的一位。

  祝允明父为徐有贞女婿,自己又是李应祯之婿,祖父祝颢为进士,曾官至山西布政司右参政,相信在这样的环境里,他受到多方面的熏染。《明史.文苑传》称其“能诗文,尤工书法,名动海内。”

  他的楷书早年精谨,师法赵孟頫,褚遂良,并从欧,虞而直追“二王”,其书《出师表》谨严浑朴。晚年,临写《黄庭经》不注重点画的形似,而结构疏密,转运遒逸,神韵益足。嘉靖末的书法家王樨登说:“古今临《黄庭经》者,不下十数家,然皆泥于点画形似钩环戈磔之间而已,......枝山公独能于矩绳约度中而具豪纵奔逸意气。”他的草书师法李邕,黄庭坚,米芾,功力深厚,晚年尤重变化,风骨烂熳。人称:“枝山草书天下无,妙酒岂独雄三吴!” 清代朱和羹《临池心解》认为:“祝京兆大草深得右军神理,而时露伧气;小草则顿宕纯和,行间茂密,亦复丰致萧远,庶几媲美褚(遂良)公。”

  代表作有《草书贾至大明宫早朝诗轴》,《箜篌引(即草书曹植诗手卷)》和《赤壁赋》等,流利洒脱,奔放不羁。《名山藏》说:“允明书出入晋魏,晚益奇纵,为国朝第一。”

撰稿:刘有林

附英文资料(来自台北故宫博物院)

  Zhu Yunming (1461-1527), a native of Changzhou (modern Suzhou), had the style name Xizhe and the sobriquet Zhishan. Born with six fingers on his right hand, he gave himself the sobriquet Zhizhisheng to indicate he had an extra finger. He also had the names Zhishan laoqiao and Zhizhi shanren. Exceptionally talented since childhood, he was already capable of writing large characters one Chinese foot in size by the age of five and could compose poetry when he was nine, later becoming a learned scholar. Though Zhu Yunming was a Provincial Graduate in the civil service examinations of 1492, he was unable to place in further tests. So, in 1514, he was appointed as Prefect of Xingning County in Guangdong and became Controller-general of Yingtian Prefecture (Nanjing) in 1521, serving less than a year before returning to his hometown claiming illness. With his career in office not going well, he turned instead to writing, becoming known with Wen Zhengming, Tang Yin, and Xu Zhenqing as one of the "Four Talents of Wu," a regional name referring to Suzhou.

  It was in calligraphy, however, that Zhu Yunming achieved particular renown, excelling in all script types to become known along with Wu Zhengming and Wang Chong as one of the "Three Masters of Wu." In early years under the influence of his paternal grandfather Zhu Hao, maternal grandfather Xu Youzhen (1407-1472), and father-in-law Li Yingzhen (1431-1493), Zhu Yunming began his study of calligraphy mostly with the Jin and Tang dynasties to form a solid foundation. Among his surviving works are found various styles all co-existing together. The more obvious manners include those of Zhong You, Wang Xizhi, Yu Shinan, Ouyang Xun, Chu Suiliang, Zhang Xu, Yan Zhenqing, Huaisu, Liu Gongquan, Su Shi, Huang Tingjian, Mi Fu, and Zhao Mengfu, demonstrating the wide array of sources from which Zhu chose. Even when imitating the ancient masters, Zhu Yunming often revealed his own personal manner. In response to contemporaries who did not follow classic traditions and jokingly claimed that "imitating the ancients" was akin to becoming a "slave of calligraphy," Zhu could not disagree more, composing a refute entitled "Considerations on a Slave of Calligraphy." In it, he posited the view that "By going and following Jin and Tang (calligraphy), you guard and do not lose it." From the Su Shi manner of Wu Kuan to the Huang Tingjian style of Shen Zhou and Wen Zhengming, all demonstrate Zhu Yunming's standpoint representing the aspirations of calligraphy elite in Suzhou while expressing dissatisfaction with the Secretariat Style popular since the early Ming. Zhu Yunming indeed practiced what he preached, using his spectacular and unparalleled form of calligraphy to imitate the old masters and prove that "copying the ancients" can be an exceptional form of creativity as well. In addition to presenting the styles of various calligraphers, Zhu was ultimately able to achieve a thorough and comprehensive mastery to create a unique and personal manner of his own. Among them, Zhu Yunming's most praised forms of writing were small regular and cursive script, at the same time also inaugurating new trends in Suzhou calligraphy circles.

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《毛珵妻韩夫人墓志铭》

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