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Chinese Calligraphy

Chinese Calligraphy

An Introduction to Its Aesthetic and Technique, Third Revised and Enlarged Edition

Chiang Yee

ISBN 9780674122260

Publication date: 01/01/1974

Chiang Yee’s Chinese Calligraphy: An Introduction to Its Aesthetic and Technique remains the classic introduction to Chinese calligraphy. In eleven richly illustrated chapters, Chiang explores the aesthetics and the technique of this art in which rhythm, line, and structure are perfectly embodied. He measures the slow change from pictograph to stroke to the style and shape of written characters by the great calligraphers.

In addition to aesthetic considerations, the text deals with more practical subjects such as the origin and construction of the Chinese characters, styles, technique, strokes, composition, training, and the relations between calligraphy and other forms of Chinese art.

Chinese Calligraphy is a superb appreciation of beauty in the movement of strokes and in the patterns of structure—and an inspiration to amateurs as well as professionals interested in the decorative arts.


  • A splendid book in which the plates alone would make a valuable acquisition… Chiang is the confident master, writing in a manner that is both businesslike and imaginative.

    —The Times


  • Chiang Yee (1903–1977) was Professor Emeritus of Chinese at Columbia University. He was also a poet and painter, and the author of many books of travel writing, as well as children’s books. He illustrated all of his books and was best known for his “The Silent Traveler in…” series, which presented destinations from a Chinese perspective.

Book Details

  • 304 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press
  • Foreword by Herbert Read