Yan Zhenqing is a master of calligraphy in Tang Dynasty. His innovation in calligraphic expression is influenced by his engagement with the northern tradition of monumental standard script styles representing a balance between propriety and Zhang Xu's wildness. The sheer weight and lack of hesitation in his brushstrokes has long been associated with his physical and moral courage. A master though, he was not a professional himself. Instead, he was also well-known for being a straight-forward official for the government in his time.