The Great Wall

Qian Songyan1985

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of Art

The Great Wall is one of the most famous scenic spots in China. In this painting, the Great Wall towers up into the clouds and stretches out as far as the horizon. A camel troop is busy transporting goods. A great number of factories stand in the area, demonstrate a new atmosphere in China brought about by the reform. Qian Songyan employed traditional techniques and colour to present the construction of China. Based on the content, it can be estimated that this work was completed after 1949. When the People's Republic of China was founded, Mao Zedong proposed that art should serve the people and be committed to reform, which entrusted the painting of landscapes with a new task of extolling the virtues of the motherland. Accordingly, the painting of landscapes was required to suit the needs of the socialist construction and incorporate itself into the strategy for the modernisation of China. This landscape was drawn in accordance with this task and therefore reflects the style of the time.

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  • Title: The Great Wall
  • Creator: Qian Songyan
  • Date: 1985
  • Theme: Landscape
  • Physical Dimensions: w46.3 x h75 cm
  • About the Artist: Qian Songyan, self-proclaimed master of Qilu, was born in Yixing, Jiangsu. He entered a private school in his early years and started learning how to paint as well. Later he went to study at the Teachers' College of Jiangsu. The composure shown in his early landscapes comes from the influence of Shitao and Kuncan. He placed a great deal of emphasis on sketches from life and nature. He travelled around the country, which contributed to the realistic features found in his traditional paintings.
  • Type: Ink and colour on paper
  • Rights: Hong Kong Museum of Art