A talented painter from Suzhou who was also the son of Xu Qian, a government official. In the fifteenth year of the Chongzhen era (1642) at the end of the Ming dynasty, Xu Fang passed the civil service examination and received the title of juren. When the Qing replaced the Ming, Xu Fang was not willing to serve the new Manchu rulers. Instead, he chose to live in reclusion, calling himself a lonely, sad child. His oeuvre included cursive-script calligraphy as well as landscapes emulating Song and Yuan masters.