Chen Shun was one of the most important Wu School calligraphers and flower painters of the Ming dynasty. Born into a modestly prosperous literati family, his first teacher was Wen Zhengming (1470-1559). Between 1519 and 1523 Chen Shun studied at the Imperial Academy in Beijing. He then returned home to Suzhou and spent a quiet life surrounded by fellow scholars and artists.
While initially influenced by the writing style of Wen Zhengming, Chen Shun quickly developed a unique individual style, which drew on the calligraphy of the ancient masters Mi Fu (1051-1107) and Yang Ningshi (873-954). His running and cursive scripts, for which he was best known, displayed his characteristic fluidity, boldness and exuberance.