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Qi Baishi

Chinese, 1864-1957


Xiangtan January 1, 1864


Beijing September 16, 1957

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Qi Baishi is one of the best-known Chinese artists of the twentieth century. Born in rural Hunan Province, he was poorly educated, but during childhood he encountered a printed manual of painting, which sparked his interest in sketching birds, insects, and flowers. With no formal training, he established himself as an artist in his home district.

In his forties—a time corresponding with the last decade of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911)—Baishi traveled widely throughout China. The sensory experiences of those years would fuel his imagination for the rest of his life. He could skillfully suggest any subject with a few strokes of the brush, but his favorite themes were flowers, birds, insects, and fish.

These colorful and whimsical designs of flowers and fruits are a product of his collaboration with Rong Bao Zhai, a famous publishing house in Beijing that specialized in the production of deluxe prints.



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