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Title

Pumpkins

late 19th century-mid 20th century


Artist

QI Baishi

China

1863 - 1957


About

‘Qi Baishi is the quintessential master of modern Chinese painting. His work embodies the qualities of freshness, colour and audacious brushwork that were the hallmarks of Chinese painting in the traditional manner around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Born in Hunan province, Qi was plagued by illness in his youth and learnt carpentry in an attempt to improve his condition. Although always interested in painting, it was not until his late 30s that Qi began to formally study painting and poetry, initially with the great scholar Wang Xiangyi. As his career progressed Qi became the most established Chinese artist of the 20th century. Later in life, and following the foundation of the People’s Republic, he was recognised in a number of positions and honours, including his 1953 appointment as ‘People’s Artist’. He was always the master of the ‘xieyi’ (spontaneous brushwork) manner and in this painting demonstrates his delight in his subject and the experience of playing with brush, ink and colour.’

The inscription reads: ‘On working in the garden, I pulled out weeds and cut off wilted flowers. The newly planted vine was not thick enough to cover the fence, so I filled the empty space with autumn melons. In so doing I lamented the hardships of life, and the struggle for food. Baishi.’ The scroll also bears the seal of the distinguished artist and collector C C Wang to whom this painting once belonged.’

‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’, pg.169
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales


Details


Place where the work was made

China


Date

late 19th century-mid 20th century


Media category

Painting


Materials used

hanging scroll; ink and colour on paper


Dimensions

132.0 x 33.7 cm image; 205.0 x 46.0 x 52.0 cm scroll


Signature & date

Signed c.r. to l.r., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink, "…Baishi laoren". Not dated. Signed l.r., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Baishi [artist's seal]".


Credit

Anonymous gift 2000


Location

Not on display


Accession number

126.2000


Artist information

QI Baishi

Works in the collection

2


Place

Where the work was made
China

Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Chinese Painting, 'Qi Baishi', Sydney, 1985, 14 (illus.). cat.no.15

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Shanghai School and Modern Painting', Sydney, 2003, 169 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 9, 14 (illus.). Cat.no.2.11