Su Shi (蘇軾) – Chinese Poet

Sam & KJ's Suiseki Blog (水石)

Introduction

Su Shi(simplified Chinese:苏轼;traditional Chinese:蘇軾) (8January1037– 24August1101),courtesy nameZizhan, (Chinese:子瞻),art nameDongpo, was a Chinese writer, poet,painter, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and astatesmanof theSong dynasty.”

Portrait of Su Dongpo byZhao Mengfu

Su Shi was born into a literary family in 1037. At the age of 19 he passed the highest-level civil service examinations with flying colors, and was marked out as a rising star within the world of officialdom. His lucid, eloquent essays greatly impressed Emperor Renzong (1010-1063) and by the time the young Emperor Shenzong (1048-1085) ascended to the throne in 1067, Su Shi was a respected figure among scholar-officials at court.

‘During the Song dynasty, a period of unsurpassed refinement in the arts in China, Su Shi had a brilliant and staggeringly varied career,’ explains art critic Alastair Sooke. A poet, politician, writer, calligrapher, painter and aesthetic theorist, Su Shi was the pre-eminent scholar of the Song dynasty…

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