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Fatie puxi 法帖譜系

Oct 6, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Fatie puxi 法帖譜系 "Genealogy of Model Calligraphies" is a book on model calligraphy compiled by the Song-period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Cao Shimian 曹士冕 (mid-13th cent.), courtesy name Duanke 端可, style Taozhai 陶齋.

Cao hailed from Duchang 都昌, Jiangxi, and was a prefecture-level official in the very late years of the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279). The 2-juan long book is a kind of genealogical tree of copies of model calligraphies, beginning with the Chunhua fatie 淳化法帖 and the Erwangfu tie 二王府帖 and ending with the Luling Xiaoshi ben 廬陵肖氏本 (Master Xiao's version from Luling) in the first part, and beginning with the Jiangben jiutie 絳本舊帖 (old boards from the Jiangzhou version) in the second part, ending with Muben qian shi juan 木本前十卷 (First ten scrolls of the wooden-board version).

The whole descriptive list includes 36 copies of the model calligraphies of the early Song period, mainly the Chunhuage models and the Jiangtie models. The text describes the history and quality of each copy. The Fatie puxi is praised in the Shushi huiyao 書史會要 as a very important contribution to the history of calligraphy. Most model calligraphies were written on wooden boards that could easily be copied by rubbing with ink tampons.

The Fatie puxi was finished in 1245 and is to be found in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and the series Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1503.