Xianyu Shu (鲜于枢)

Xianyu Shu (鲜于枢, ca.1257–1302) was a poet, calligrapher, collector and connoisseur of the Yuan Dynasty. His courtesy name was Boji (伯机) and pseudonym Kunxue Shanmin (困学山民).

Portrait of Xianyu Shu

Xianyu was probably the closest friend of Zhao Mengfu (赵孟頫) . They exchanged poems and letters, wrote postscripts to paintings and calligraphies, and discussed artworks together. Zhao composed a long poem five years after Xianyu’s death, which recollected their friendship.

Xianyu excelled in semi-cursive and cursive calligraphy. He preferred to use stiff brushes and emphasized on the strength of the wrist in writing good calligraphy. Zhao Mengfu once said, “Boji and I learned cursive calligraphy together. He surpassed me to a great extent. Even though I really tried my best, I could not catch up. It is only after he died then people started recognizing my calligraphy.”