Couplet in Clerical Script by Gui Fu at the National Museum of Asian Art’s Freer Gallery of Art, dated to 1793, involves important references to early textual artifacts. This article focuses on how such references engendered historical experience for scholars in the social circle of Gui. A gift to Huang Yi, the calligraphy first evokes the sensorial experience of an inscription at Huishan Temple in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. In addition, its uniform and vigorous brushstrokes point to the origin story of clerical script. Weng Fanggang, a colleague of Gui, further took up the eleventh-century concept of “substantial and thick” to code the style into an expression of sincerity. The calligraphic work details how Qing intellectuals appropriated ancient texts to commemorate social relationships, pursue stylistic innovation, and justify aesthetic preference.
Yan, Weitian. "A Freer Couplet by Gui Fu: Memory, Style, and Virtue in Qing Calligraphy." Ars Orientalis 53 (2023): 129-55.