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    Qi Baishi was born into a poor agricultural family in Xiangtan, Hunan province, but spent most of his life in Beijing as one of the most illustrious painters of modern times. As a teenager he was apprenticed to a carpenter and in his twenties began studying seal carving and painting. He travelled widely within China and in 1912, at the age of fifty-five, he settled in Peking. With the encouragement of Chen Hengke (q.v.) he became extremely successful as both a painter and a seal-carver, eventually establishing a large household, many members of which were engaged in painting. His work introduced new subject matter - he is particularly known for paintings of crabs and shrimp, for example - and is admired for its directness and simplicity. At the age of sixty he knocked two years from his age for auspicious reasons, complicating the dating of his later works.

    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. 108 on p. 125, illus. p. 125 fig. 108

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