• Calligraphers
    • Images of calligraphers practicing the art of Chinese calligraphy.

Calligraphy had been a recognized branch of painting since pre-Tang times. It was especially popular in the Yuan dynasty because of its long association with the pursuits of the wenren. Along with poetry and music, calligraphy was considered an important part of the scholar-gentlemanís training; examples of writing were commonly given to friends to commemorate an occasion or to acknowledge hospitality. Calligraphy, like painting, attests to the nearly infinite uses of the brush. Characters were depicted in a variety of styles, ranging from the archaic glyphs taken from bronze vessels to the free-form varieties reminiscent of Zen painters.

All of the images seen here represent a language, that, in and of itself is art.
It is a pictographic language, and it is very easy to make out what the character is conveying, just as easy as a child in the west can use a pictionary to decipher words like horse, and moon.  A child reading their own language in China, however, would skip the part where a picture equals a word, as the picture is the word in Chinese.
Interpreting the meaning of some of these characters may require a metaphorical or cultural reference.  Most of them do not.  Sometimes, it is a matter of simply looking at the character and asking, 'What does this look like?'.