Mastering the Art of Chinese Painting: Xie Zhiliu (1910–1997)

February 6–August 1, 2010

Chen Hongshou: Master Role Model

In 1930, at the age of twenty-one, Xie Zhiliu (1910–1997) visited an exhibition at the Nanjing Museum, where he saw a painting by the Ming dynasty master Chen Hongshou (1599–1652). He quickly became fascinated with Chen's meticulously executed bird-and-flower images, notable for their fine lines and brilliant color. During the next two decades, Xie copied numerous works by Chen, including the artist's figure paintings, carefully emulating their technical refinement and decorative charm. Xie also recreated Chen's style in his original compositions, as exemplified by the album of highly finished plum-blossom paintings on display in this gallery. Chen's art derived from that of the Song dynasty (960–1279) masters, with whom Xie was also familiar, having studied their work extensively as he expanded his repertoire.