Ten master painters of modern China

1, a great artist Xu Beihong (1895-1953). He is known for his unique artistic style and depiction of social reality.

In 1928, Xu Beihong moved to Beijing and became the dean of the School of Art at Beiping University. But before he arrived, students held a vote to choose their preferred dean. As a result, Lin Fengmian received 111 votes, while Xu Beihong received only 15.

This is perhaps not surprising. Because Xu Beihong’s important works are always filled with bitterness and feelings of social dissatisfaction, the students are young and prefer romantic art. They don’t like Xu Beihong’s style. But in this world, there is always a need for someone to play the role of helplessness and pain.

Xu Beihong comes from Tingqiao Town, Qidong, from a poor background. He once said to make art for life. He saw the reality of the bottom of society with his own eyes and always felt the pain of those who suffered. Even when painting beautiful women, his work reveals a sense of bitterness.

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He always awkwardly chose unpopular artistic paths and painted subjects that had something to do with reality, like an orthodox patriarch. His works caused discontent among the upper classes of society, because they did not like to see those real and cruel pictures.

Xu Beihong’s artistic pursuits and social concerns have made him a controversial artist. He expresses those silent cries in his own unique way, and his paintings reveal deep thoughts on human nature and social issues.

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Because of this, Xu Beihong’s works can touch people’s hearts and trigger people’s reflection on the social reality. His art transcends personal preferences and the aesthetic standards of The Times, and becomes a strong artistic expression and the embodiment of social significance.

  1. Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) was an artist whose art value was difficult to define, so the market developed a crude pricing strategy that judged the artist’s artistic level based on his own popularity.

Zhang Daqian’s popularity among the general public is largely due to his many legendary stories. He was held hostage as a gangster and later as a monk. Some believe he is the reincarnation of a spirit monkey, and there are rumors that he raised tigers in Suzhou. He studied art in Shanghai, lived in the Summer Palace and Qingcheng Mountain, and finally went to Brazil, North America, and finally settled in Taiwan. As a young man, he tricked Huang Binhong and Wu Hufan with his imitation of Shi Tao. He had four wives and two lovers, as well as Li Qiujun, who had an ambiguous relationship with him. These stories are very easy to transmit, so he left a lasting mark on these topics.

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Zhang Daqian’s personality is also an important reason for his fame. He had many friends and disciples, treated everyone first, and had no enemies throughout his life. Of course, the market’s recognition of him is not only because of his personality charm, collectors attach the most importance to his works themselves.

Xu Beihong once praised Zhang Daqian as “a great thousand in five hundred years”, which shows Zhang Daqian’s achievement in art.

Zhang Daqian’s painting art can be described as originality. He not only achieved a high artistic level, learned from the ancients, but also had his own unique style. He once duped the famous collector Wu Hufan with his antique paintings, and his calligraphy also created a unique “great thousand style”. His painting art is exquisite, especially in figure painting and flower-and-bird painting reached a very high level, formed a unique style. His landscape painting, flower-and-bird painting, figure painting, fine brushwork, freehand brushwork, splash-ink painting and calligraphy are all exquisite, and even in his later years, he created a striking green splash painting method. Compared with contemporary painters, most of them are only good at a certain kind of subject matter or technique, but Zhang Daqian’s artistic achievement is very outstanding. His art covers various fields such as landscape, flowers and birds, figures, meticulous brushwork, freehand brushwork, splash-ink and calligraphy, showing extremely high skills. At the same time, he also created a shocking green splash painting method in his later years.

In contrast, most of the other artists of the same generation are only good at a certain kind of subject matter or only master a special skill, and Zhang Daqian’s diversified talent in art is particularly outstanding. Just as there are mass goods and niche goods in the commodity market, there is a similar situation with art.

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Zhang Daqian’s paintings strike a delicate balance between artistry and marketability. His lines are smooth and mellow, but at the same time, they are also mixed with raw taste and do not fall into the cliche. His paintings are colorful and beautiful, but based on the aesthetic standards of the Tang and Song dynasties, they show ancient and extraordinary characteristics.

His perfect combination of beauty and grandeur has made his work extremely acceptable to the market. Iconic elements in his paintings, such as lotus flowers, beautiful ladies of Tang and Song Dynasties and unique calligraphy styles, are constantly repeated and become memorable symbols.

All in all, Zhang Daqian is an outstanding artist who has won a high reputation for his rich artistic talent and unique creative style. His works have not only reached a level of artistic excellence, but also been widely recognized by the market. His artistic achievements and personal charm make him an important figure in the art world that cannot be ignored.

  1. Qi Baishi (1864-1957) Qi Baishi is a leading figure in China’s modern and contemporary art market. His works have not only maintained a strong appreciation momentum, but also have the characteristics of resistance to decline. Whether it is from 2 silver yuan to 900 million yuan, the price of Qi Baishi’s works has been rising, creating an investment myth. Therefore, no matter when to buy Qi Baishi’s work, it is not too late.
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His painting style continued the freehand tradition of literati painting, but he also created a completely new form. He first depicted through realism, and then expressed by freehand, and then returned to realism to achieve the perfect combination of form and God. What is more unique is that in the same painting, he combines bold and freehand flowers with extremely fine grass and insects to form his original worker insect flowers.

Qi Baishi’s artistic style is unique and distinctive. He pursues a free, unrestrained and eclectic way of creation in his painting. He is good at drawing flower-and-bird paintings and landscape paintings, and his works are full of vivid and fresh breath, showing rich emotion and artistic expression.

Qi Baishi’s paintings express his unique understanding and perception of nature with unique strokes and forms. He uses exaggerated and deformed techniques to give the image of flowers and birds dramatic and expressive force, creating a unique artistic form.

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Qi Baishi’s works are full of humor, interest and vitality. He gives his works a unique visual impact through the exaggeration of the image and the variation of the composition. He is good at capturing the details and breath of nature, and perfectly expresses the power and beauty of life on the canvas through concise and precise brushstrokes.

Qi Baishi’s use of color is also very personal, he is good at using bright and rich colors, so that the paintings are full of vitality and tension. His works often use bright and bold color combinations to create rich and powerful picture effects.

Qi Baishi’s artistic achievements have been widely recognized and appreciated. His works have participated in many domestic and international art exhibitions and won many awards. His artistic influence transcends The Times and national boundaries, and has a profound impact on the domestic and foreign art circles.

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In addition to his artistic achievements, Qi Baishi is also widely praised for his personal charm and the quality of sticking to his original heart. All his life, he adhered to the love and pursuit of art, and always maintained the awe and inheritance of traditional culture. His careful teaching and mentoring of subsequent artists made him a highly respected and beloved mentor.

  1. Huang Binhong (1865-1955). He is an artist, known as the highest level of traditional Chinese painting. Huang Binhong is famous for his “rich and colorful”, and his works embody a rich artistic atmosphere. He makes good use of various techniques such as traditional ink and balding brush to disassemble the structure of the mountain and rebuild it with high-quality lines.

Huang Binhong conforms to the standards of traditional Chinese painting masters, whether it is the pot of ink cultivation or the bald brush he loves, his understanding and pursuit of art are completely Chinese. However, Huang Binhong’s paintings in his later years are different from the traditional landscapes of the Xin ‘an School of painting, which he studied in his early years. In his paintings, mountains are no longer mountains and water is no longer water. He tore the image apart and reinterpreted it. The way these images are reinterpreted is strikingly similar to Western Impressionism. Although Huang may not have deliberately borrowed from Impressionism, good art always seems to have a strange coincidence.

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Huang Binhong is unique in the art world with his unique artistic style and unique pursuit of art. His works not only inherit the essence of traditional Chinese painting, but also show the compatibility with Western art. In the Chinese painting circle, Huang Binhong is unique with his innovation and unique pursuit. His art works combine tradition with modernity, inheriting the essence of traditional Chinese painting, and showing dialogue and collision with Western art.

  1. Pan Tianshou (1897-1971). In the auction, we often see some of Pan Tianshou’s works, they are usually some small pieces, such as drawing two chickens or a few strokes of orchids. However, the auction prices for these works often raise eyebrows. Even for a work of about one foot in size, the painting of two chickens, it is normal to auction for more than one million yuan, which is almost unimaginable in other modern painters, even more expensive than Qi Baishi’s works.

Therefore, when China Guardian Auction Company auctioned Pan Tianshou’s “Eagle Stone Mountain Flower Picture” for more than 200 million yuan, many people can not help but wonder why the painting is so expensive without seeing the original.

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First, of course, because it’s well drawn. Pan Tianshou’s works contain a unique “national skeleton”. When the brush walks on the paper, it leaves wonderful traces, dry and wet, thick and sharp, and the picture shows muscles and bones on the outside, and has backbone inside, with the unique texture of Chinese cultural genes.

Pan Tianshou loves this kind of line, he likes the soft brush outline of the vivid character. Thus, in his paintings, large mountain rocks, vultures and toads, even tiny mountain flowers and slender weeds, are imbued with spirit and power. This line, condensed spirit, bones and skin, they come with a kind of anti-counterfeiting logo. Compared with the imitation, from the momentum point of view, as if suddenly lost a bit of charm, pale in comparison.

Compared with many of his contemporaries, who felt inferior under the influence of Western culture or changed their painting style because of the demands of the political environment, Pan Tianshou chose to be a non-conformism and non-conformism. This requires him to have a strong heart and love for traditional culture and this kind of line.

Therefore, his works are not only artistic expression, but also adherence to and inheritance of traditional culture. He dares to pursue his own inner true artistic style, which is not influenced by the trend of The Times and external evaluation. It is this uncompromising spirit that makes Pan Tianshou’s works unique and full of unique personality and power.

Pan Tianshou’s art also incorporates the essence of traditional Chinese culture. His use of lines not only has the skills of pen and ink, but also embodies the philosophical thoughts of Chinese painting. In his works, there is not only the magnificence of mountains and rivers, but also the vividness of flowers and birds. His paintbrush moves freely, giving new life and modernity to traditional subjects.

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It is because of these unique features that Pan Tianshou’s works are highly sought after in the market. At auction, his works often create high prices, causing the attention and pursuit of the majority of collectors. His paintings are not only works of art, but also a cultural symbol and a spiritual symbol.

As an outstanding artist, Pan Tianshou’s works are not only impressive in technique and expression, but more importantly, he dares to pursue his own artistic truth, sticks to the essence of traditional culture, and shapes his own artistic language with unique line style. His works are not only artistic, but also have cultural connotation and historical value. Because of this, Pan Tianshou’s works enjoy a high reputation and value in the contemporary art market.

  1. Lin Fengmian (1900-1991) was a pioneering artist. Lin Fengmian is famous for his unique artistic exploration. He was one of the first artists to introduce Western artistic language and transform Chinese painting with Western materials and techniques. At the age of 25, when he returned to Paris at his own expense, he was chosen by CAI Yuanpei as the president of Beiping Art College (now the Central Academy of Fine Arts). CAI Yuanpei’s openness and tolerance and Lin Fengmian’s pursuit of free and true artistic concept complement each other, and it is this combination of ideas that led Lin Fengmian to invite Qi Baishi, who was not well-known at that time, to become a professor, because he appreciated the free and unbribed vitality of Qi Baishi’s works.
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Lin Fengmian devoted his life to improving Chinese painting with western modern art and modern consciousness. However, I am reluctant to limit his art to this narrow view. When he abandoned his fine arts education and decided to become a pure painter, he may have lost faith in the secular function of art. He kept painting, just to express his inner loneliness. This solitude is his poetry. Lin Fengmian loved painting the wild goose, the lonely and strong figure, as if it was his brush. Whether in oil or ink, what he painted was the Eastern artistic conception, the ethereal, indescribable artistic conception, like a seagull flying alone in the sky.

Lin Fengmian’s artistic thought and style of works are unique. He opens up a new artistic path through the absorption and integration of western art and the expression of eastern artistic conception. His works not only have visual beauty, but also contain profound connotation and emotion. His art represents a quest for freedom and authenticity, as well as a sense of solitude and poetry.

  1. Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) Anyone who studies painting will face an important problem, that is, how to face the works of previous artists. Fu Baoshi is no exception. When he first learned landscape painting, he mainly imitated Shi Tao’s works, and then pursued the style of Song and Yuan Dynasty landscape painting. At the same time, he also absorbed the techniques of Wang Meng, Ni Zan, Mei Qing, Cheng Sui, Gong Xian and other famous artists, and even integrated the elements of Western watercolor painting and Japanese Ukiyo-e. But what really allowed him to find his artistic style was his living experience in Chongqing’s Diamond Slope. During that time, he looked at Bashan and Shu rain every day, and the local mountains looked remote and beautiful in the misty rain. Through numerous attempts, Fu Baoshi finally realized his unique technique – “Baoshi Cun”.
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The famous painters of the past are like a mountain, and there are many unknown painters in history, not because they painted badly, but because they were bound by tradition. These famous people themselves are like a peak, when you stand on top of them, they are at your feet, and you can look down on countless mountains. But when you kneel in front of them, they become your obstacle, you are at a loss, you can’t see the way ahead.

Then, do you dare to climb this high mountain? Dare to respect tradition while trample it underfoot? Fu Baoshi has such courage and determination.

He dares to break through the traditional shackles and explore his own artistic path. He not only learned from the experience of his predecessors, but also incorporated a variety of different painting techniques into his own works to create a unique artistic style. Fu Baoshi’s bravery and innovation have made him an outstanding painter, and his works are full of freedom and vitality.

  1. Li Keran (1907-1989) Li Keran is an outstanding artist in the world of modern Chinese painting. His paintings are mainly landscape paintings and figure paintings. He has a unique artistic style and unique creative ideas, and his understanding and pursuit of traditional Chinese culture have deeply influenced his paintings.
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Li Keran’s landscape paintings are full of the power of nature and the breath of life. He is good at using ink and color contrast to express the profound and vast landscape. His brushwork is concise and powerful, and can accurately express the undulation of mountains and rivers and the rush of water. His paintings often feel serene and transcendent, revealing the magnificence and mystery of the natural world.

Li Keran’s figure paintings are equally wonderful. He was able to capture the expression and temperament of the characters, and to outline the images and characteristics of the characters through simple and precise lines. His figure paintings have a unique emotion and connotation, showing the personality and vitality of the characters. Li Keran’s figure paintings often give people a feeling of warmth and intimacy, and touch the hearts of viewers through delicate depiction and authentic expression of emotions.

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Li Keran’s artistic achievements are widely recognized. He has won many awards in art exhibitions at home and abroad and has become one of the important representatives of Chinese painting. His paintings have also achieved a high value in the art market, becoming the object of collectors.

  1. Lu Yanshao (1909-1993) was an innovative artist in the field of landscape painting. He created two new techniques, one of which was “leaving white”, in which he used ink to leave white marks, representing elements such as clouds, springs, mountain paths and waves. This technique first appeared in his sketching works in southern Anhui in 1964. Major General Lu Yan’s combination of white and ink has formed another unique technique of his, which is called “ink block”. The ink block is the way of concentrated ink points into blocks, and the empty abstraction of the formation of organic contrast, the two complement each other, to create a changing atmosphere.

In his later years, Lu Yanshao’s painting style changed from careful and delicate in the early period to vigorous and old. At this time, his landscape works put more emphasis on the expression of meaning and dynamic, but it is not divorced from the depiction of specific images. The traditional white space is generally used to represent snow, clouds, etc., while Lu Yanshao integrates the white space into the structure of the picture to highlight the key point and omit unnecessary ink.

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Lu Yanshao is not anxious about exploring the “old age reform”. He said: “The so-called reform of the elderly is not in the face. If you get the reason, then proceed from this, do not stir or disturb, and feel satisfied with the track, its very also, its own natural happiness.” He created at the age of 80, “Huangshan Range Rover” in the picture shows this natural state. He uses concise ink to methodically show the mountains of Huangshan amid changing clouds of smoke. The lines in the painting are clear and powerful, complicated and heavy, dry and wet, dense and dense, changing. The white space and ink block in the painting are also one of the highlights. He uses ink block between the dots and lines to increase the weight of the picture, while pressing the white space to make it more stable and form a strong sense of flow.

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In general, Lu Yanshao’s paintings, like poetry and calligraphy, focus on rhythm and rhythm. He once stressed: “Very hard work, four points reading, three points writing, three points drawing.” This pursuit of art makes his works full of unique charm and vitality. Lu Yanshao not only created new techniques and expression techniques in traditional landscape painting, but also further developed and perfected his artistic style through continuous exploration and practice.

His work is not only a landscape painting, but also a presentation of rhythm and rhythm. He is good at using the shade of ink, dry and wet, as well as the fluctuation and change of brush strokes, to create a flowing motion and dance rhythm in the picture. At the same time, he skillfully uses the white space and ink block, so that the picture presents a kind of virtual and real, changing aesthetic feeling.

In his creation in his later years, we can see his profound understanding of art and his courage to transcend tradition. He is not limited to the traditional form of landscape painting, but through the clever use of line, ink and white space, gives the work a deeper meaning and expression. His works show a rich old and calm, but also contains the vitality of life and the power of change.

For artists, age is not a restriction that restricts creation, but an opportunity for accumulation and transformation. Lu Yanshao always maintains an open mind to new changes and new attempts on the road of artistic creation. He found his own breakthrough and uniqueness in the exploration of art, and left a valuable artistic legacy with his own unique artistic language.

Lu Yanshao is an artist who has an important influence in the field of landscape painting. His innovative techniques and the spirit of daring to break through have brought new vitality and expression to Chinese painting. Through his works, we can feel his deep understanding of art and unique artistic charm. With his unique artistic style and creative ideas, Lu Yanshao set an example for later generations and became one of the important figures in the history of Chinese painting.

  1. Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010) — an eclectic artist.

Wu Guanzhong is an artist who often causes controversy and discussion in the art world. Traditionalists say he doesn’t know how to draw and isn’t good with a pen. He himself once said that “pen and ink equal zero”, which can be described as a severe blow to the pride of the traditionalists, so that they gnash their teeth.

The new people who like Wu Guanzhong will say that you people are still evaluating him by traditional standards, not knowing that his works do not belong to traditional Chinese painting at all.

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The average viewer would probably say, gee, his paintings are beautiful! As a result, Mr. Wu’s work was printed on clothes and plates, as well as countless cheap reproductions and hanging pictures. The Wu Guanzhong series of art derivatives are the best sold and most popular.

Wu Guanzhong’s life experience is a bit like his market, from obscurity to fame, to the bottom of the career, and finally rise again. He relied on the unwavering stubbornness of himself and of his art.

Later in life, Wu Guanzhong once said, “Although my body is aging, my emotions are not numb.” There are always ripples and waves in my brain. These ripples and waves are my creative motivation, but they can not shake the gradually weakening body, which is a kind of character sadness, a helpless situation.”

He is strong, simple, honest, even if he is alone, he insists on pursuing the beauty in his own heart, never compromising, never yielding.

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The precious thing of Wu Guanzhong is that he dares not to stick to the rules, dares to only care about the call of the heart, and always sticks to the end. With his unique artistic style and personal charm, he takes a new path in artistic creation and presents a different artistic scroll for us. Both his paintings and his life shine with courage and sincerity, inspiring us to pursue independent thinking and authentic expression.

Wu Guanzhong — an artistic explorer who breaks through the tradition

An artist known for breaking conventions. His works often cause controversy and discussion in the art world, but it is his courage to challenge the conventional and the courage to break through that makes him a highly respected artistic explorer.

The traditionalists criticized him for not knowing how to paint and thought he was not good with the pen. Wu Guanzhong also once said in a conversation that “pen and ink equals zero”, which completely overturned the traditional view of party art, and made them angry.

However, the upstart praised him. They argue that it is unfair to judge Wu Guanzhong by traditional standards because his work is not limited to traditional Chinese painting.

The general audience mostly liked his works and thought they were beautiful. Mr. Wu’s work is printed on items like clothes and plates, and countless cheap reproductions hang on the walls. Wu Guanzhong’s art derivatives have become the best-selling products on the market.

Mr. Wu’s life story, like his markets, has been up and down. He rose from obscurity to fame, to career lows, and back again. All this comes from the tenacious spirit deep inside him.

In his later years, Wu Guanzhong once said, “Even though my body is gradually aging, my emotions are not numb.” My mind is still full of ripples and waves. These ripples and waves are the driving force of my creation, but they cannot shake the body that is about to decline, which is a kind of character sadness, a kind of helpless situation.”

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He was firm and simple, consistently pursuing what his heart wanted. He doesn’t give in to convention, he doesn’t compromise tradition. The precious thing of Wu Guanzhong is that he has the courage to break through the bondage, only cares for his inner call, and perseveres.

With his unique artistic style and personal charm, Wu Guanzhong has created a new artistic road. His work radiates courage and sincerity, inspiring us to pursue independent thinking and the courage to express our inner truth. He not only explores bravely in artistic creation, but also shows the quality of perseverance in life.

The preciousness of Wu Guanzhong lies in the fact that his works dare to break the shackles and challenge the traditional ideas of the art world. He does not seek agreement or compromise, but sticks to his unique perspective and firmly believes that art is a medium of free expression.

His work is full of imagination and creativity, and does not adhere to the form and rules. He boldly tries new artistic language and techniques, skillfully combines traditional and modern elements to create artistic works with unique personality and depth.

Wu Guanzhong’s artistic achievement lies not only in his works, but also in his attitude and spiritual pursuit of art. His love and dedication to art make him constantly move forward on the road of artistic creation and constantly break through himself.

His courage and persistence have inspired countless artists and audiences to pursue their dreams and true inner expression.

Wu Guanzhong has left us, but his artistic legacy will live on forever. He was a great artistic explorer, and his works and spirit will continue to inspire future generations to create more miracles in the vast world of art. Wu Guanzhong, an artist breaking through the shackles of tradition, his artistic story will always inspire us, let us bravely follow the call of the heart, the courage to break through the convention, and create their own artistic path.

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