Ji Kang's "Discourse on Healthy Living" in Regular and Cursive Script


National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

Emperor Gaozong, the son of Emperor Huizong (Zhao Ji), had the personal name Zhao Gou. In calligraphy, he early studied the styles of Huang Tingjian and Mi Fu, also tracing back to the brushwork of such Wei and Jin masters as Wang Xizhi. His brushwork was elegantly upright and rich, having a profound influence on the calligraphy of the Southern Song imperial clan. This work, a rubbing of an engraving made for the Modelbooks of the Three Rarities Hall from the Qianlong reign in the Qing dynasty, is a transcription of “Discourse on Healthy Living,” a famous text of the Three Kingdoms period. Its author, Ji Kang (ca. 223-263), style name Shuye, was a native of Zhixian in Qiaojun (modern Suixi in Anhui) during the Wei dynasty of the Three Kingdoms. Rising to the post of Attendant Counselor at the Cao-Wei court, later generations also referred to him as “Attendant Counselor Ji.” A renowned writer, philosopher, and musician, he became known as one of the “Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove.” His text here emphasizes following the ways of nature and “becoming pure and calm, being less selfish and desirous.” Using a more holistic view, his ideas were highly regarded in the Southern Dynasties period.


  • Title: Ji Kang's "Discourse on Healthy Living" in Regular and Cursive Script
  • Creator: Anonymous
  • Physical Dimensions: 28 x 35.6cm
  • Type: Album leaf
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Medium: ink on paper

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps