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Qi Baishi, 1863-1957

Qi Baishi was a versatile artist.  Although he could paint excellent human figures, animals, and landscapes, he was mainly known for his flowers, birds, insects and fish, which were his major themes in later life.  Qi Baishi’s works have a fresh lyrical quality and sought to achieve a “likeness both in shape and spirit" of the things he portrayed.  He was able to suggest the essence of a subject with a few brief strokes.  One can perceive in his art a high sense of reality.  Everything he painted is bubbling with life, joy, optimism and often humor, this reflected his own view of the world.

Tallow Trees and Mynas, 1950
Qi Baishi particularly enjoyed painting rural scenes.
The tree painted here is the Chinese tallow tree, found everywhere in the villages of South China. Qi Baishi brushwork is exceptionally fluent and his position of red and black creates a strong feeling of autumnal richness and response.  The two myna birds here express the nostalgia of the old artist for the home of his youth.

Horses, 1950
Xu Beihong was a master of horse painting. He rendered the horse pictures vividly and accurately, capturing their spirited movements with a great economy of line.
Xu Beihong, 1895-1963

Xu Beihong was a master of both oils and Chinese ink.  Most of his works, however, were in the Chinese traditional style.  In his efforts to create a new form of national art, he combined Chinese brush and ink techniques with Western perspective and methods of composition. He integrated firm and bold brush strokes with the precise delineation of form.  As an art teacher, he advocated the subordination of technique to artistic conception and emphasizes the importance of the artist's experiences in life. After his death in 1953, a Xu Beihong Museum was established at his home in Beijing.

Li Xiongcai
, 1910-

Li Xiongcai is equally skillful at painting figures, landscapes and flower & birds.  He has carried on the traditions of the Lingnan school.  During the long period of time, Lingnan made innovations in technique and developed its own style.  Most of his best known works are executed on a large scale.  He paints with bold fluid sweeps of the brush, creating an imposing atmosphere and suggesting great majesty and splendor.

Landscape, 1979
Li Xiongcai uses powerful brush strokes to depict mountain scenery.  Lofty peaks rise imposingly above layers of swirling mists and clouds.  The pines in the foreground enhance the atmosphere of the serenity of the scene.

The Poet Xie Lingyun, 1979
This painting depicts the poet, Xie Lingyun, a famous poet of the Southern dynasty period.  This poet who was born of a distinguished family traveled widely and left a wealth of poems that extol nature's beauty.  This painting captures the uninhibited and unconventional character of the poet.  Fan Zeng excels in the "pure line drawing" style of figure painting.  His lines flow delicately and express fully the character of his subject.
Fan Zeng, 1938-

Fan Zeng is a master of the "pure-line-drawing" technique.  He considers that the "sounds of nature" can only be caught by a spontaneous reaction to what is observed, not a redrawing or a contour outline. He also specializes in "splashed ink" and figure painting.  Fan Zeng followed the great painters of the Song dynasty in using simple and vigorous strokes of the brush and dynamic delineation of form.  Fan Zeng is also a noted calligrapher.

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