Xu Sangeng

Calligraphy by Xu Sangeng. From the internet.

Xu Sangeng 徐三庚 (1826-1890)was born in Shangyu, Zhejiang province.

He was good at copying bronze and stone inscriptions. He was also proficient in calligraphy in which the inscription came from Han stele. “His arrangement of layout was so well organized that the density of space was carefully arranged. His unique usage of blade also gave his seals a unique and natural look.”

“Xu was living at the time when the Ding Jing school was in a dominant position, so his style was inevitably influenced by Chen Hongshou and Zhao Zhiqian. He tried to break through the rigid style of the Zhejiang school and look for new designs. Greatly impressed by Deng Shiru’s new style, he formed his zhuan script by combining Deng’s style with the rubbing style of the stone tablet. Xu Sangeng emphasized the sense of motion inherent in calligraphic script, and his composition was compact inside and loose outside, presenting a graceful effect. He strictly followed Deng’s principle of “seal coming out of calligraphy,” so he took zhuan script as the core of his style no matter whether he used relief or engraved carving or other method. He used his unique skill and sometimes exaggerated methods to express the strong contrasts of density and space.”

  • Pinyin: Xú Sāngēng
  • Wade-Giles: Hsu San-keng
  • Also known as: Jinglei; Mountain Man of Jinlei; “Taoist” Jinlei; Xiegu; Xingu; Xiuhai
  • Affiliation: Deng School

2 Responses

  1. Hello,

    I have acquired a fairly large seal by Xu Sangang, and would like to know if you can direct me to how I can go about learning it’s original use/purpose and who/what department would have used it potentially. It seems to be a semi-common themed seal form the hand of Xu, as I have found it at least 3 times now, including the one I have. You happen to have the same seal depicted in the right hand side of the top row on your Xu bio page seen above. I have the translation, and know it relates to a tale from the Tang Dynasty about two generals and is essentially a motto to always see the big picture, but never forget to pay attention to the small details too.

    Thank you for any direction on this at all.

    Sincerely, Greg C. Brown.

  2. Can you please tell me about the top, right seal? I would like to know everything I can about it, and who it was made for and where and/or how it was used? Thank you.

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