Hibiscus and flying kingfishers


  • Catalogue text

    Ren Yi was from Shanyin, present-day Shaoxing in Zhejiang province, the son of a portraitist. In the winter of 1868 he moved to Shanghai, where he lived for the rest of his life. Shanghai was a rapidly growing commercial centre at that time, and artists from all over China went there to sell their paintings. There emerged a 'Shanghai School' of painting, associated with a synthesis of popular and traditional style, in which Ren Yi is regarded as the leading figure. He is known for his bold brushwork and use of colour, particularly in figure and bird-and-flower paintings. The latter were mostly in Song style until he came across an album by the early Qing individualist painter Zhu Da (Ba da shan ren), by whose looser style he was influenced. He was more closely a successor to the Shanghai based painters Ren Xiong (1823-57) and Ren Xun (1834-93).

    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. 115 on p. 132, illus. p. 133 fig. 115

Reference URL

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