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Calligraphy is cultural passion of Italian Sinologist

By Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou | | Updated: 2020-05-19


Chinese calligraphy is a time-honored art. [Photo provided to]

So he went to Hangzhou again in 2004 and took a graduate course at Zhejiang University.

"It was at Zhejiang University that I got really immersed in academic studies and learned to view academic issues from historical and cultural perspectives," the Sinologist said.

During the time at Zhejiang University, Pietro decided to delve into Treatise on Calligraphy by Sun Guoting, a Chinese calligrapher of the early Tang Dynasty (618-907), for his doctoral dissertation.

"I was profoundly impressed by the grandeur and elegance of the long scroll replica, which is 9.06 meters long," he said.

With the help of abundant resources at the university and his Chinese classmates, the research went well and later became the core of De Laurentis's doctoral dissertation.

De Laurentis didn't finish his graduate course at Zhejiang University. Instead, he went back to Italy for doctoral study in 2005 and now he is a lecturer at an Italian university and still keeps in contact with his Chinese peers.

He explained that as a Sinologist from the West, he should have an international perspective. "Staying in China for too much time might not be the best choice," De Laurentis said.

He has attended many academic activities in China in the past 15 years since he decided to go back home, including giving public lectures at Chinese universities and taking part in research as a visiting scholar.

"I cherish the experience of communicating with the public, which proves that rather than a highbrow art, calligraphy can be enjoyed by all people," he said.

In 2018, De Laurentis wrote a dozen articles based on his 20-year learning experience in China. One year later, he was invited to write and compile a book about the renowned Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi, which is expected to be published this year.

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