I discovered a 400 page book in my library: THE EMBODIED IMAGE: CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY FROM THE JOHN B. ELLIOTT COLLECTION. THE EMBODIED IMAGE describes an exhibition of Chinese calligraphy at the Art Museum, Princeton University. It covers 55 master works spanning the period from the fourth century to the modern era.
In China, calligraphy is regarded as the quintessential visual art, ranking above painting as the most important vehicle for individual expression.
“Calligraphy may be appreciated by following the artist’s every gesture, re-experiencing the kinesthetic action of creation as preserved in the inked lines.” – Maxwell Hearn, Curator in the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum
The book is a wealth of information. I particularly enjoyed reading about how the Buddhist monks writing their sutras led to a calligraphic style that evolved the standard script that became the model for bookprint. Magic, religion, culture, and history make this three thousand year old writing system fascinating.