Xu Beihong’s Iconic Chinese Ink Paintings
The artist who was engaged in the historic changes in Chinese society
Join Forces in Tokyo (1943) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
Revolution and reform were key themes in Chinese social development in the first half of the twentieth century, but they were also core issues in Chinese artistic development.
Jiu Fanggao (1931) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
Xu Beihong was deeply influenced by the New Culture Movement, and sensitive to the historic changes that were taking place in Chinese society. Following the ideas of Kang Youwei, this 24-year-old youth published the essay “Ways of Reforming Chinese Ink Painting”. This essay established Xu’s artistic ideas. He would devote his life to improving and reforming Chinese ink painting through realism and “rejuvenating Chinese art”.
The Foolish Old Man Moves a Mountain (1940) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
Xu Beihong looked high and low for ways to reform Chinese ink painting, and using realist methods, he launched modern large-scale history painting in Chinese ink.
Boatmen (1936) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
The path to reforming Chinese ink painting that he pioneered, and the ink and wash painting and the transformative New Chinese Painting he later advocated, would transform Chinese ink painting from a traditional to a modern mode and provide historic possibilities and feasible paths for exploration.
Chongqing People Drawing Water (1937) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
His works The Foolish Old Man Moves a Mountain, Jiu Fanggao, Join Forces in Tokyo, Chongqing People Drawing Water, and Boatmen criticized social problems at that time. His upright temperament and well-defined tastes will exist forever in the sharply contrasting brushstrokes and realist modeling of his work.
Against the Wind (1936) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
Portrait of Tagore (1940) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
Chinese Rose (1918) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
Standing Horse (1939) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum
Conference on World Peace (1949) by Xu BeihongCAFA Art Museum