Wu Li

1632 - Feb 24, 1718

Wu Li; ca. 1632-1718 was a Chinese landscape painter poet and calligrapher from Jiangsu who lived during the Qing Dynasty.
Wu was born in Changzhou in the Jiangsu province of China. His style name was 'Yu Shan' and his sobriquet was 'Mojing Daoren'. Wu learned poetry from Qian Qianyi. He was taught painting by Wang Shimin and Wang Jian, and was influenced by the painters Huang Gongwang and Wang Meng. His landscapes utilized dry brush strokes and light colors. His distinctive style elevated him to where he is now identified as one of the Six Masters of the early Qing period.
Wu converted to Catholicism, and became a member of the Society of Jesus. In 1688, after seven years of training at St. Paul's College, Macau, he was ordained one of the three first Chinese Jesuit priests, taking the name Simon-Xavier a Cunha. He spent the remaining 30 years of his life serving tirelessly as priest in rural villages.
The dramatic decline and fall of the Ming Dynasty and the coming to power of the Manchu Qing Dynasty caused the crisis of a number of intellectuals, who looked for new directions for them and for the country.
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