QI BAISHI (1863-1957)


QI BAISHI (1863-1957)
Cockerel, Hen and Chicks
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper
53 3/8 x 13 3/8 in. (135.5 x 34 cm.)
Signed: Painted by Ji Huang in Jinghua (Beijing), and: Baishi Shan Weng Dated yichou year (1925), Autumn, seventh month
Two seals of the artist: Mu Ju Shi, Bai Shi Weng
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
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Lot Essay

Qi Baishi was born in Xiangtan, Hunan Province, the eldest of seven children in a farming family. He started painting without the guidance of a master and improved his skills when he discovered a copy of the Mustard Seed Garden Manual. At the age of twenty-eight he was taken on as a pupil by Hu Zizhuo for several years and started seal-carving as well. Between 1900 and 1909 he travelled extensively throughout China and then settled in his home town. In 1917 he moved with his family to Beijing, where he met the highly respected Chen Hengke, who inspired and encouraged him to develop an entirely personal style. In 1927 he was appointed to the National Academy of Art in Beijing. After 1945, Qi was very well received by the new regime and eventually he received the international Peace Award in Moscow in 1956, a year before his death in Beijing.

Qi Baishi was Chairman of the Chinese Artists' Association and honoured as a "People's Artist". He was an eminent painter of landscapes, flowers, birds, plants, insects and figures, which were marked by their vigorous brushwork and free use of colours and ink. He was particularly skilled in using cinnabar red and ink to create sharp contrasts.

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