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The Zhaoling Mausoleum

The Zhaoling Tomb is a co-burial tomb fro Taizong by the name of Li Shimin, the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty and his queen  Zhangsun.

Inside the Zhaoling Museum except the Tomb for Li Bo it still includes two exhibition halls and the hall for the show of unearthed cultural relics and carvings and paintings as well. On display here are not only the relics recently excavated from a dozen of accompanied tombs but also various kinds of broken pieces of epitaphs of the Tang Dynasty. And because of the great artistic value out from these broken pieces of calligraphic scriptures the Zhaoling Museum is again known to many people as “Zhaoling Forest of Steles.”

Zhaoling

On display in the second exhibition hall are some stone-steles and cenotaphs which have been discovered and re-excavaled during the recent 40 years. For instance, the Tablets to Zhou Hu written by Wang Xingman is simple anti unsophisticated vel bold in strokes; the Tablet to Li Mengchang written by Li Xuanzhi is in careful and neat style but the strokes are quite forceful. And there are still some such tablets written anonymously as that to Wu Guang which is in careful and precise yet unsophisticated style while the Tablet to DouLuo Qinwang is unrestrained and fluent. Full of graceful elegance, the Tablet to Jiang Chao was found only half of it but we came to find the other half of it in 1974 when the excavations were done to the Zhaoling Museum, making it a complete piece and a much-told tale. The Tablets for Tang Jian and Tang Jiahui are the representative works in a style prevailing in the flourishing period of the Tang Dynasty. And from the inscriptions on these tablets visitors will come to find out a variation tendency in which the calligraphic styles tended from neat and firm to bold and dignified in the Tang Dynasty. The epitaphs and cenotaphs found nut from the Zhaoling Tomb are the exquisite masterpieces of the calligraphic writings, the first rate of the kind in China. Inscribed on large pieces of stones they are beauti- fully carved in elegant calligraphic styles with every letter to be cut clearly. Among them the most appreciable is the Tablet Io Yuchi Jingde. With fine and graceful inscriptions on the crystal clear piece of stone, the epitaph is 120 centimeters in square, the largest one ever seen so far. Inscribed on the cover of the epitaph is a style of writing known as ” Feibai.” which exposes threads of white in strokes as though they were done with the stub of a writing brush. Done in bold and forceful strokes the epitaph is a matchless unique ever discovered in the Tang Tombs in China.