Man on a Bridge

Ren Yi (Ren Bonian) Chinese

Not on view

Ren Yi, like his contemporary and friend Xugu (1823–1896), experimented with the realistic rendering of natural scenery instead of producing traditional landscapes composed of conventional compositions and brushstroke formulas. Here, he used irregular patches of wash and hatching to convey the impression of naked branches. Ren approached the picture as a Western artist sketching nature might have, asking "How can I render what I see?" rather than attempting to imitate Western art.

Photographs, regularly published in newspapers and magazines in Shanghai as early as the 1870s, shattered traditional Chinese concepts of picture making and had more to do with changing attitudes in landscape painting in the late nineteenth century than any direct influence of Western art.

Man on a Bridge, Ren Yi (Ren Bonian) (Chinese, 1840–1896), Hanging scroll; ink on bark paper, China

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