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Figure in a boat under a wintry tree



Ren Bonian


1840 – 1895

  • Details

    Other Title
    Figure standing in a boat
    Place where the work was made
    Shanghai China
    Guangxu 1875 - 1908 Qing dynasty 1644 - 1911 → China
    Media categories
    Scroll , Painting
    Materials used
    hanging scroll; ink and light colour on paper
    114.3 x 48.2 cm image; 197.0 x 61.5 x 69.0 cm scroll
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated u.l. to c.l., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink "…in the March of the year of Guizi (1893)…Ren T Bonian.".
    Signed c.l., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Ren Yi [artist's seal, square relief]".
    Signed c.l., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Bo Nian [artist's seal]".

    Purchased 1988
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Ren Bonian

    Works in the collection


  • About

    ‘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 [1893] of Guangxu reign.’’

    ‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.166.
    © 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 7 publications