Preserving the Mi Fu (1051-1107) Heritage: Calligraphy Compendium of the Hall of Pine and Sweet Olive (Songgui Tang Tie) and the Mi Family in Southern Song
This thesis is concentrate on the offspring of Mi Fu (1051-1107) and their efforts to preserve Mi Fu’s calligraphy and establishing family culture, particularly in Calligraphy Compendium of the Hall of Pine and Sweet Olive (Songgui Tang Tie，《松桂堂帖》), which was inscribed by Mi Fu’s great-grandson Mi Ju Rong (about late 12th century to middle 13th century). Several issues had been researched about Mi You Ren (1074-1051), Mi Fu’s eldest son, including Mi You Ren’s calligraphies and paintings, and his authenticating for the emperor Gaozong (1107-1187, r. 1127-1162). In fact, there are many other members of Mi Fu’s family engage in establishing Mi Fu as a central role in family culture. Mi You Ren authenticated Mi Fu’s works for his friends in private and left many colophons; Mi Fu’s grandson Mi Xian (active in late 12th century to early 13th century) not only collected Mi Fu’s poetry and essays to publish Supplements to Anthology of Mi Fu (Bao Jin Shan Lin Ji Shi Yi，《寶晉山林集拾遺》) but also compiled Genealogy of the Mi Family (Mi Shi Pu，《米氏譜》), tightening up relationships between family members; Mi Ju Rong and his father, along with his elder brother, gathered Mi Fu’s lost works for ages, laying the groundwork of Calligraphy Compendium of the Hall of Pine and Sweet Olive, which was inscribed by Mi Ju Rong in 1248.
Only one volume of Calligraphy Compendium of the Hall of Pine and Sweet Olive remains to today. This volume includes the finest edition of Three Precious Works of the Jin Dynasty (Bao Jin San Tie，寶晉三帖) and the one and only calligraphies of Mi Fu, such as large seal script and small regular script with clerical script style, which being complements to Mi Fu’s style and calligraphies; the colophons by Mi You Ren and Mi Ju Rong also reveals many facts. By searching through literature, there were at least four volumes, more than thirty works in Calligraphy Compendium of the Hall of Pine and Sweet Olive, each volume has their own circulation after late Ming dynasty, and a few works had been mounted in Calligraphy Compendium of the Hall of Glorious Honor (Ying Guang Tang Tie，《英光堂帖》) by mistake. The arrangement of Calligraphy Compendium of the Hall of Pine and Sweet Olive is mainly by the type of script and writing, secondary by the time when the calligraphies were written, but the arrangement was influenced by the source of the calligraphies as well.
The colophons by Mi You Rén and Mi Ju Rong reveal the reasons for why Mi Fu had done the calligraphies, the circulation and source of the works, and praising Mi Fu for his splendid calligraphies. Conscious of family tradition can be found in these colophons. Mi You Ren and Mi Ju Rong connect Mi Fu’s life and activities with the calligraphies through colophons, authenticating and praising Mi Fu’s calligraphies, trying to handle the explanatory authority of Mi Fu. From the colophons, Mi Fu’s family members showed their strong ambition to establish family culture and preserve cultural tradition.
The widespread and popularity of Mi Fu’s style should be attribute to the endeavor of the people behind the scenes, which the offspring of Mi Fu played an important role. Starting from Mi You Ren to Mi Xian, Mi Ju Rong’s father and brother, finally to Mi Ju Rong who inscribed Calligraphy Compendium of the Hall of Pine and Sweet Olive, all of them represent their yearning for the former glory of Mi Fu, and the practice and ambition to preserving Mi Fu and his Bao-Jin heritage. The endeavors and fruitful results influence how people recognize Mi Fu in the history, which deserve to be researched and pay attention to.
|Appears in Collections:||藝術史研究所|
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