Zhang Zhi

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Zhang Zhi (simplified Chinese: 张芝; traditional Chinese: 張芝; pinyin: Zhāng Zhī; Wade–Giles: Chang Chih, died 192), courtesy name Boying (伯英), was a Chinese calligrapher during the Han Dynasty. Born in Jiuquan, Gansu, he was a pioneer of the modern cursive script, and was traditionally honored as the Sage of Cursive Script (草聖).

Biography[edit]

Despite the great fame he enjoyed in ancient times, no veritable works of Zhang Zhi's have survived. A catchphrase is attributed to him: "Too busy to write cursively" (匆匆不暇草書),[1] which shows that the execution of cursive script, though originally invented for the sake of time-saving, requires a tranquil frame of mind.

References[edit]

  1. ^ There is a similar Chinese proverb: "Too hasty to write in cursive script; too impoverished to prepare a vegetarian meal." (信速不及草書,家貧難辦素食) Compare the well-known quote by Pascal: "Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte." (in Lettres provinciales)