Rather Die Than Surrender (宁死不屈) was created by Quan Shanshi after he studied in Soviet Union and back to China, which belongs to the Art Project of Major Revolutionary and Historical Theme initiated by the Museum of the Chinese Revolutionary. The painting reflects the Chinese leading cadres’ counterattack to the reactionaries’ suppression and persecution. In order to emphasize the spirit of “turning grief into strength”, the body of the soldier who gets killed is partly blocked, and man in the middle wearing blue is in monumental posture. The detailed facial expression and bright yellow background also reinforce the atmosphere of revolutionary combat.


  • Title: Rather Die Than Surrender
  • Creator: Quan Shanshi
  • Date: 1960/1970
  • Provenance: Museum of Contemporary Art of CAA
  • Type: oil painting
  • Creator nationality: China
  • Creator gender: male

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