Wen Zhengming, (1470-1559, Suzhou, Jiangsu province) was a painter, calligrapher and scholarly figure. He was considered one of the Four Masters of the Ming period (1368-1644), along with Shen Zhou, Tang Yin and Qiu Ying. A student of Shen Zhou, the founder of the Wu school of painting, these artists are considered the leading figures of the Wu school of scholar-artists in China. Although a good student, he repeatedly failed his national civil service examinations, the last when he was 52 years old. He was finally offered a position at the Hanlin Academy in Peking. He left after three years to devote the rest of his life to produce some of his well-known works that dominated the Suzhou paintings of the 16th century. He mastered many script styles and created his own individual style.