114.3 x 48.2cm image; 197.0 x 61.5 x 69.0cm scroll [height x width x rod]
‘Orphaned in his early teens, Ren Bonian (also know as Ren Yi) was apprenticed to a fan shop in Shanghai. Here he learnt to paint and to copy the work of the then well-known and established artist Ren Xiong, and subsequently became his pupil. Ren Bonian’s figure paintings are distinguished by dramatic and accented brushstrokes. His inherent eloquence with brush and ink is well illustrated in the variable and expressive strokes of the tree, swift dashes of ink that define the wintry branches and the moody strokes that define the foreground rocks. He gained his fame as a portrait and figure painter but is equally known for his bird and flower subjects. This example is fully characteristic of his style: eloquent, sparse, delicate, with the brushstrokes echoing against timeless space of the background. This inscription, written by Ren Bonian in his studio in Shanghai in the third month of the ‘guizi’ year  of Guangxu reign.’’
‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.166.
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Jackie Menzies (Australia) (Author), Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 12, 13 (illus.). Cat.no. 3.5
Author Unknown (Author), Cradles of Civilisation: China, Sep 1994, illus..
'Chinese Painting', pg. 42-52., Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales 1990, 1990, 45 (colour illus.).
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 259 (colour illus.).
'Modern Chinese Paintings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales: The Shanghai School and its Impact' by Edmund Capon, pg. 104-109., Orientations Sep 2000, Sep 2000, 104 (colour illus.). fig.1
'The Shanghai School and Modern Painting', The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales 2003, 2003, 166 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies (Australia) (Author), Contemporary Chinese Painting, 1985, 14 (illus.). Cat.no.18
Contemporary Chinese Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 04 May 1985–30 Jun 1985.
Chinese Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 27 Nov 1991–27 Jan 1992.
Art of the brush, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 23 Sep 1995–12 Nov 1995.
Chinese New Literati Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 23 Aug 1997–05 Oct 1997.