Young Singer is an excellent example both of Jin Shangyi’s work and of Neoclassical oil painting. Jin was the founder of the Neoclassical style of painting in China, which emerged after the Rural Realism movement and can be described as a kind of new realism based on academic art. Drawing on the Academic Classicism movement of France, Neoclassical works depict simple, reserved figures using soft delicate brushwork. The elegant tranquil tones of Neoclassical paintings distinguish them from the bold strokes used in Soviet oil painting.Emulating the composition of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the artist ingeniously replaced the real landscape used as the background in the Mona Lisa with a landscape painting by Fan Kuan, an artist of the 5 Dynasties of China, clearly demonstrating his attitude toward traditional Chinese culture in the process. The subject of this piece is a famous Chinese singer, Peng Liyuan. Jin painted a classic half-length portrait of the young Peng, not only producing an excellent likeness of her but also capturing her state of mind and conveying her calm, dignified nature.


  • Title: Young Singer
  • Creator: Jin Shangyi
  • Date Created: 1984
  • Physical Dimensions: 54×74cm
  • Medium: Oil
  • Support: Canvas

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