Myriad Autumn Peaks

Xiao Sun was from Huaining in Anhui province, where he first learnt to paint with Jian Yun (1847-1919). In the inscription on this painting, the artist describes: ‘[I] casually composed [this painting], and unexpectedly it looks like [the works of] Huanghe shanqiao [aka Wang Meng (1301-1385)]. His early works were tidy and rigid. Someone told him “painting should be for yourself, not for others”. After that, [he] changed his attitude, and his art is much improved. In my opinion, his later achievement is a consequence of his early rigidness; when his spirit comes and comes to the pond [to paint], he brings out his personal characteristics and style, and undoubtedly shows the quality. Saying something like ‘for others or for yourself’ is to make others believe [his reason of changing], which he first makes himself believe’.

Details

  • Catalogue text

    Xiao Sun was from Huaining in Anhui province, where he first learnt to paint with Jiang Yun (1847-1919). He travelled throughout China and eventually settled in Peking, where he held a succession of teaching posts, and was an active member of Chen Hengke's Society for the Study of Chinese Painting in the 1920s. He was one of the major early twentieth century promoters of the early Qing individualist painter Dao Ji, who was also from Anhui.

    In: Vainker, Shelagh, Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2000)

Further reading

Vainker, Shelagh, Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2000), no. 146 on p. 170, illus. p. 171 fig. 146

Reference URL

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