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Chinese painting master revived in private museum

The representative works of the late Chinese oil painting master Yan Wenliang (1893-1988) are now being exhibited in the privately-owned Yanhuang Art Museum in Beijing. The show is the third in the "Founders of Modern Chinese Art Series" sponsored by Minsheng bank and it will run through May 10. The first two in 2009 showed the works of Xu Beihong and Liu Haisu.
Yan Wenliang\
Yan Wenliang's The Kitchen

As one of the first generation of Chinese oil painters, Yan followed similar career paths as his peers: going abroad to learn Western painting and returning home to lead the development of modern art. However, he differed from the others as he began oil painting all by himself before studying in France in 1928. His work The Kitchen painted in 1920 showed a typical Western-style spatial relationship between objects and presented the changing light. The painting was honored by a French art salon in 1928. Zhao Li, professor of Central Academy of Fine Arts, commented: "Though painters' of Yan's age didn't necessarily master the best skills, their works possessed more social significance. They tried to express an attitude of scientific observation and demonstration, which were desperately needed in China at that time."

Besides artistic achievements, Yan devoted his life in art education in China. He established the Suzhou Fine Arts College with some friends in 1922. Though not as large as Shanghai and Beijing's art schools, the college had the most sculptures and art books, which were selected and bought by Yan from Europe. He also held China's first art exhibition named Suzhou Painting Competition and set up the earliest animation department in 1950 to foster the first generation of Chinese cartoonists.

Source: China.org.cn
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