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 Baishi Qi  (1864 - 1957)

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Lived/Active: China      Known for: Floral, animal, sea creatures, and landscape motif painting

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Qi Huang is primarily known as Baishi Qi

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Biography from University of Maryland Art Gallery:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Qi Baishi (1864 - 1957) was one of the most well-known contemporary Chinese painters.  His pseudonyms include Q Hung and Q Wiqing.  Some of Qi's major influences include the early Qing Dynasty painter Zhu Da and the Ming Dynasty artist Xu Wei.

The subjects of his paintings include almost everything such as animals, scenery, figures, toys, vegetables, and so on.  He theorized that "paintings must be something between likeness and unlikeness."  In his later years, many of his works depict mice, shrimp, or birds.  Qi Baishi is particularly known for painting shrimp.

Born to a peasant from Xiangtan, Hunan, Qi became a carpenter at fourteen, and learned to paint by himself.  Although Qi Baishi did not have any formal education or training in the field of art, he managed to master many different techniques including calligraphy and seal-carving. 

In his forties, Qi Baishi began traveling and looking for more inspiration.  He came upon the Shanghai School, which was very popular at the time, and met Wu Changshuo, who then became another mentor to him and inspired many of his works. Another influence of Qi Baishi came about fifteen years later, as Qi became close to Chen Shizeng after he settled down in Beijing.

In 1953 Qi Baishi was elected to the president of the Association of Chinese Artists.

He died in Beijing in 1957.

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