Qian Song

Qian Song 錢松 (1807-1860) was born in Qiantang. “He learned seal carving from Ding Jing and Jiang Ren, but had his own unique style, which was quite outstanding among Zhejiang seal makers. From his work, we see that the zhuan script he used was simple but natural, and his carving was shallow and blunt, like branches of old pine trees. His works were highly praised by later generations.”

“He was good at painting landscape, and he also showed his talent in writing the standard and grass styles of calligraphy. He loved bronze and stone inscriptions best. He took Han seals as models to carve seals and then made more than two thousand seals. Zhao Zhi-chen praised him as the best seal carver after Ding Jing and Huang Yi. With his unique usage of blade, the lines of characters in his seals were so sharp and crisp. He also made good friend with [He Zhen].”

His seals are highly praised for their delicately controlled balance of white spaces. Zhao Zhichen wrote, “He is Ding Jing and Huang Yi rolled into one. His art surpasses that of the Ming masters like Wen Peng and He Zhen.”

Qian Song is considered one of the “Eight Masters of Xiling” and one of the “later four scholars” of the Xiling School.

  • Pinyin: Qián Sōng
  • Wade-Giles: Ch’ien Sung
  • Also known as: Naiqing; Shugai; Songru; Tielu; Xigu Waishi
  • Affiliation: Xiling/Zhejiang School

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