Three Passages: Ping’an, Heru, and Fengju

Wang XizhiAD 265-AD 420

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

Wang Xizhi, a famous calligrapher of the Eastern Jin period, established the paragons for modern cursive and running scripts, leading him to become known as the "Sage Calligrapher."

"Ping'an" and "Heru" were two letters written by Wang, while "Fengju" originally was appended to the "Heru" letter. During the history of their circulation, "Ping'an" lost its last two lines and "Fengru" became an independent work. The three were mounted together in the late Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and inscriptions of appreciation from elsewhere by Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072) and others added. The three passages here are all precise copies from the Tang dynasty done using fine outlines filled with ink, a technique also used for the date, title, and signature parts as well. The silk-like lines reveal the use of a centered brush, representing Wang's supreme balance of brush quickness, roundness, and variations to the starts and stops. The characters range in size, position, openness, and slant: No two are alike, yet all highlight each other, demonstrating the artist's great creativity.


  • Title: Three Passages: Ping’an, Heru, and Fengju
  • Creator: Wang Xizhi (303-361)
  • Date Created: AD 265-AD 420
  • Physical Dimensions: 24.7 x 47.3 cm
  • Type: Handscroll
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Medium: Ink on paper
  • Dynasty: Chin dynasty

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