Inkstone, also known as Yan, is called the four treasures of Chinese traditional literature, which is indispensable in Chinese calligraphy and painting. Inkstone is no longer a simple stationery, but a combination of sculpture and painting. Art and art works have become the object of collection by literati and ink-writers.
Although inkstone is the last in the ranking of "pen, ink, paper and inkstone", it occupies the first place in terms of collection, dissemination and cultural connotation, with "four treasures of the study" as the first one. This is because not only the inkstone is of solid texture and can be passed on for generations, but also the inkstone concentrates on sculpture, painting, stone, literature, history and other cultural arts, with the richest connotation. Therefore, inkstone is the most common among the "four treasures of study" in today's society, and it is also the most widely used.
When did China's earliest inkstone platform come into being? Archaeologists once found a set of tools for pottery paintings by primitive people in a primitive society site in Jiangzhai, Lintong County, Shaanxi Province, including a stone inkstone with a cover, a slight concave inkstone surface, concave with a stone grinder, and several pieces of black pigments left beside the inkstone. Obviously, this is the early form of inkstone that the ancestors used to grind pigments by grinding pestles. Its main function is to grind pigments of painted pottery.
The main style of stone inkstone in Song Dynasty is handwriting inkstone, simple and generous, practical and elegant. Duanshi and Heshi were the leading figures in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Especially after the end of Ming Dynasty, inkstone making not only gradually focused on fine carving, but also paid great attention to the color, literary grace, voice, tenderness and age, stone pits, inscriptions and so on. Many inkstones have been converted from practical works to art appreciation works. Henan Museum, as a large comprehensive state-level Museum in Central Plains, not only has a large number of inkstones, but also has clear unearthed information and collection area. It is an important standard instrument for dating. Some representative inkstones are selected for introduction.
Four famous inkstones include Duan Inkstone, She Inkstone and Chengmu Inkstone. From the decoration, it concentrates on the culture and art of sculpture, calligraphy and painting, stone, literature, history and so on. Its connotation is the richest. It basically reflects the development vein of ancient Chinese inkstones. In addition, most inkstones have detailed land-leaving sites and collecting areas, which adds the regional cultural information of these inkstones and carries the civilization and historical carrier of the Central Plains. It has become an important cultural witness of the long history of the development of Chinese civilization.