Wang Xizhi (王羲之, 303 - 361) was a Chinese calligrapher, traditionally referred to as the Sage of Calligraphy (書聖, 书圣).

       Born in Linyi (临沂), Shandong (山东) Province, he spent most of his life in the present-day Shaoxing (绍兴), Zhejiang (浙江). He learned the art of calligraphy from Wei Shuo, commonly addressed as Lady Wei (衛夫人). He excelled in every script but particularly in the semi-cursive script (行书). Unfortunately, none of his original works remains today. All of his masterpieces which you see were copied or traced by others. However, these works are still considered extremely valuable, due to his achievement in Chinese calligraphy.

       His most famous work is the Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion (兰亭集序), the preface of a collection of poems written by a number of poets when gathering at Lanting near the town of Shaoxing for the Spring Purification Festival. The original is lost, but there are a number of fine tracing copies and rubbings.

       Wang Xizhi is particularly remembered for one of his hobbies – rearing geese. Legend has it that he learned the key of how to turn his wrist while writing by observing how the geese move their necks. There is a very pretty small porcelain cup depicting Wang Xizhi "walking geese" in the China Gallery of the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. The other side of the cup depicts a scholar "taking a zither to a friend".

       Wang Xizhi had seven children, all of whom were notable calligraphers. The most distinguished one was his youngest son, Wang Xianzhi (王献之). They are commonly referred to as the “Two Wangs.”