River landscape with steamboat

Fu Baoshi was born in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. From 1933 to 1935 he studied in Tokyo at the Imperial Art Academy, and on his return taught at the Central University in Nanjing from 1935 to 1952. During the Sino-Japanese War he moved with the University to Sichuan province, and in 1946 he returned to Nanjing where he spent the rest of his life. He sat on artists’ committees at both national and local levels. In 1959 he collaborated with Guan Shanyue on a huge landscape painting ‘This land with so much beauty aglow’ for Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, and is regarded as the one of the greatest literati painters of the 20th century.

This river landscape is in Fu’s typical style, which he developed in the 1930s and to which he remained true throughout his career. He was deeply influenced by the Qing individualist painter Shi Tao, whose biography he wrote. The painting also features steam ships and light towers, signifying a new and modernized nation under socialist construction.

Details

  • Catalogue text

    Fu Baoshi was born in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. From 1933 to 1935 he studied in Tokyo at the Imperial Art Academy, and on his return taught at the Central University in Nanjing where he was professor from 1935 to 1952; during the Sino-Japanese War he moved with the University to Chongqing (Chungking) in Sichuan and in 1946 he returned to Nanjing where he spent the rest of his life. He sat on artists' committees at both national and local levels and in 1959 collaborated with Guan Shanyue (q.v.) on the huge painting 'This land with so much beauty aglow' in the Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Fu wrote widely on the history of painting and in the 1930s developed his own style, to which he remained true throughout his career; he was deeply influenced by the Qing indiviualist painter Shi Tao, of whom he wrote a biography. Together with Huang Binhong (q.v.) he is regarded as the greatest literati painter of the twentieth century. See also Cat.No.31.

    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. 24 on p. 44, illus. p. 44 fig. 24

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