Wang Guan

Wang Guan 汪关 (c1575-1631)

“[He] was born in Xi County, Anhui Province but lived at Lou-dong. He had a studio named Bao-Yin-Zhai. When he was young, he loved ancient characters. While carving seals, he was not bound by the abuses of seal engraving at that time. He did his best to imitate the styles of Han seals. The seals he carved were carefully and neatly done, and the seal characters were elegant and beautiful. He was proficient in the thrusting stroke method and his style of seal engraving was luscious and ornate. He was called a master of the Lou-dong school. He loved to use the double-cut method to engrave the side colophons, and his seal characters were very beautiful, be it the running or standard styles of calligraphy. His style of seal engraving had a great influence on many seal carvers, such as, Lin-gao, Ba Wei-tsu, and Chen Ju-lai.”

“His original name was Wang Dongyang but he changed it after acquiring a Han Dynasty bronze seal with the inscription ‘Wang Guan.’ He was noted for using ‘fine, delicate strokes.'”

“Wang was native of Shexian, Anhui Province, but lived in Louxian County in Jiangsu Province. Wang made friends with many painters and calligraphers and was influenced by them in his artistic concepts. This is why his style was different from the Anhui school. Wang’s style tended to be more classical and pure of form, which was quite unique at that time. From his work, we see that he followed the styles of Qin, Han, Wei, and Jin in seal composition, script, and carving. Wang’s style was to have a profound influence on later generations.”

  • Pinyin: Wāng Guān
  • Wade-Giles: Wang-kuan
  • Also known as: Dongyang; Gaoshu; Yinzi

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