Home > Explore + Learn > Chinese art > China's Calligraphic Arts > Running Script

Running script (行書)

Running, or semicursive, script (xingshu) appeared in the decades immediately after the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). It reached the final stage of its formative development in the fourth century. In running script, individual strokes are sometimes eliminated or condensed, and separate characters are joined by linking strokes. Due to its ease, convenience, and legibility, running script quickly became the most popular form of Chinese freehand writing in everyday use, and it retains that status today.
F1990.5 detail, example of Running Script

Detail from Poem on Lingyan Temple, in running script. View full.