|Biography from University of Maryland Art Gallery:|
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Qi Baishi (1864 - 1957) was one of the most well-known contemporary
Chinese painters. His pseudonyms include Qí Huáng and Qí
Wèiqing. 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
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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