QI BAISHI (1863-1957)
Insects and Leaves
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper
102 x 48.2 cm. (40 1/8 x 19 in.)
Inscribed with a poem and signed, with four seals of the artist
Qi Baishi moved to Beijing in 1916 and earned his lining there by selling paintings. However, his painting style was not welcome in Beijing at that time. Taking the advice of Chen Shizeng, Qi Baishi began his famous "initiating self-art-reform in senile age", which finally led Qi Baishi to tremendous success. In 1922, Chen Shizeng visited Japan. He bought some works by Qi Baishi for exhibition ans sale. This was the first time that Qi Baishi's paintings were shown in Japan. recalled by Qi Baishi later: "After Chen Shizeng returned to Beijing, I was told that all my paintings sold at very nice prices! Each of my paintings sold for at least 100 silver coins; and the landscape paintings were even more expensive, 250 silver coins for one that was only 60 inches long! I never imagined such prices in China! And I was also told that the French planned to exhibit my works and those of Shizeng in the Paris Art Expo. The Japanese were going to film my life and work for a movie! All this was just amazing! Afterwards, many foreigners came to Beijing to purchase my paintings, and I have been better off since then, It was Shizeng who helped me in my career and life-I will remember this forever." (Quated from Baishi Laoren Zishu, Shandong Huabao Publishing House, 2000, pp.131-133)

Property of a Japanese collector

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