Zhang Ruitu - Ming Dynasty

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       Zhang Ruitu (張瑞圖, 1570-1641) was a Chinese calligrapher, painter and poet of the Ming Dynasty. Born in Jinjiang (晉江), Fujian (福建), his courtesy names were Changgong (長公) and Wuhua (無畫); his pseudonyms include Ershui (二水) and Baihao Anzhu (白毫庵主).

       Zhang Ruitu received his jinshi (進士, advanced scholar) degree in 1607, eventually becoming Grand Secretary in 1626. In 1629 Zhang was implicated in the crimes of the corrupt eunuch Wei Zhongxian (魏忠賢), and was stripped of his ranks and sent home as a commoner. This has affected his standing as an artist, for despite a manifest talent, he was either ignored or vilified by Chinese art historians. Research in the 20th century has absolved him of collusion, however, and his artistic standing has been restored.

Masterpieces by Zhang Ruitu (view the entire calligraphy gallery)