Contemporary Chinese Brush Artists (1)

> > >  Qi Baishi, 1863-1957

- "likeness through unlikeness",  Master of life and brief strokes

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.

Chinese Brush Painting by famous artist Qi Baishi
Chinese Brush Painting by famous artist Qi Baishi

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.


> > >  Xu Beihong, 1895-1963

- Master of the famous horse painting and oil painting

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.

Famous Artist: Xu Beihong
Chinese brush painting by famous Artist: Xu Beihong

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.


> > >  Li Xiongcai, 1910-2001

- Li Xiongcai- Master of large scale landscape

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.

Chinese Brush painting by artist Li Xiongcai
Chinese Brush painting by artist Li Xiongcai

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.


> > >  Fan Zeng  (1938 -        )

- Master of figure painting, calligraphy, and the simple and vigorous strokes

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.

Chinese brush figure painting by famous artist Fan Zeng
Chinese brush figure painting by famous artist Fan Zeng

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.



> > >  Lin Fengmian

- Master of figure painting, combining western and tranditional Chinese techniques

Lin Fengmian was born in Meixian County, Guangdong Province, in1900. He went to Europe in 1918 and studied oil painting in France and Germany. After his return to China in 1925, he became President of the National Art College in Beijing and later of the National Art College in Hangzhou. In the early 1950s, he gave up all his administrative duties and concentrated on painting. Ling Fengmian's work was effected both by his extensive study of traditional art forms in China and by his training and study in Europe. His works combine Western and traditional Chinese techniques. In his traditional Chinese paintings, he assimilates Western techniques of composition, delineation of form and application of color and light to achieve a style of his own. He paints with powerful strokes and uses strong harmonious colors to create unique artistic elements.

Brush artist: Lin Feng Mian
Contemporary Chinese brush artist: Lin Feng Mian

The Beauty, 1965
Lin Fengmian blended gentle brush strokes with a variety of colors. The broad, curving lines of the body give the painting a soft sense of rhythm.


> > > Liu Haisu (1896-1995)

- Helped introduce western arts into China

Liu Haisu was born in Hangzhou, Jiansu Province in China. He painted in oil, Chinese brush, calligraphy and also wrote poems.  He helped set up the Chinese Painting Academy in Shanghai and also held position of President of Shanghai Training School of Fine Arts and later Nanjing Fine Arts Institute.  He was advisor of China Artists' Association and honorary President of Shanghai Artists' Association.  Liu Haisu exhibited his painting extensively, for example: exhibition in France (1931), in Berlin (1934).

Chinese brush by Liu HaiSu
Chinese brush by Liu HaiSu

Sprays of Flowers 
ink and color on rice paper, horizontal handing scroll, private collector.  46 1/2 x 96 inches
This is a large painting. The beautiful crisscrossing branches and red plum flowers in full bloom shows  powerful and vigorous brush strokes.  Liu Haisu's own calligraphy and poem add great value to the painting.


> > > Liu Dawei (1945-       )

- Master of figure painting, especially with China Northwest minorities theme

Lui Dawei was born in 1945 in Zhucheng, Shandong Province and graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Inner Mongolia Normal University. He continued his studies at the Chinese Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts following which he studied with Ye Qianyu, Jiang Zhaohe, Li Keran, Wu Zuoren, Liu Lingcang and Huang Zhou. Mr. Liu is now Vice President of the China Artist Association as well as Director of the Fine Arts Department at the PLA Academy of Arts plus numerous other Chinese Art Societies. Liu Dawei is especially proficient with figure painting. Most of his paintings are well known for reflecting the daily life of the Northwest minority races of China. Many of Lui Dawei’s painting have competed in national and international art competitions where they have won over 30 awards. One of Mr. Liu’s paintings was chosen as a national gift that President Jiang Zemin gave to the leaders of Japan on his 1992 State Visit to Japan. Professor Liu by virtue of his art accomplishments and his active role in the China Artist Association has won wide acclamation as one of Chinas outstanding modern artists and as a living role model to many current Chinese painters.

Chinese brush painting by famous artist: Liu Dawei
Chinese brush painting by famous artist: Liu Dawei