Zhang Xu was a master of Kai Shu and Cao Shu, particularly outstanding at the latter. His calligraphic style is original but not without inspiration from The Two Wangs. His representative Kai Shu work “Note of Stele in Langguan” (Lang Guan Shi Zhu Ji / 郎官石柱记) was inspired by the style of Ouyang Xun and Yu Shinan, both great Kai Shu calligraphers during Tang Dynasty. The “Note of Stele in Langguan” is dignified, serious and orderly displaying all the subtleties that Kai Shu script is known for.
A Collection of Calligraphic Works (Xuan He Shu Pu / 宣和书谱) comments: “Zhang Xu is most famous for his Kuang Cao style and his Xiao Kai and Xing Shu script also bear certain features of his Cao Shu style. Moreover, his Cao Shu, which may appear grotesque at first sight, is in accordance with the basic rules of calligraphy in every stroke if you examine their origins.”
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