25 May 2009
YU FEI'AN (1888-1959)
Pigeons and Peonies
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper
120 x 49 cm. (47 1/4 x 19 1/4 in.)
Inscribed and signed, with four seals of the artist
Further inscribed by artist
Dedicated to Delun and Dejie
Dated gengshen year (1940)
This painting was dedicated to Delun and Dejie.
Guo Dejie (1906-1964) was the second wife of Li Zongren (1890-1969), the prominent Guangxi warlord and Kuomintang (KMT) military commander during the Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War. Li Zongren, courtesy name Delin, was a native of Guilin, Guangxi province. Having graduated from the Guangxi Military Cadre Training School, Li first served in the Northern Expedition in Hunan in 1818. Along with his Chief-of-Staff Bai Chongxi (1893-1966), Li led as the Commander in Chief. He also served as Vice-President and acting President of the Republic of China under the 1947 Chinese Constitution. Li lived in the United States until 1965, when he returned to China. He died in Beijing in 1969.
In addition to his military background, Li was passionate about the arts and was deeply involved with the literati circle in China. He was close to people such as geologist Li Siguang (1889-1971), politician Zhang Shizhao (1881-1973), painters Xu Beihong (1895-1953), Qi Baishi (1864-1957) and Huang Binhong (1865-1955). His wife Guo Dejie was also capable in both diplomatic affairs and the arts and learned how to paint.
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Yu Fei'an gongbi huaniao huaji shang (Selection of Flower and Bird painting in gongbi style by Ye Fei'an), People's Fine Art Publishing House, Tianjin, 2005, p.17.
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