Snake Catching A Frog

Gao Jianfu Chinese

Not on view

Gao Jianfu grew up in Canton (Guangdong) in the climate of Kang Yuwei's call for progressive political reforms. As a youth Gao joined the Revolutionary Alliance, which later emerged under the leadership of another Cantonese, Sun Yat-sen, as the Guomingtang.

After the fall of the dynasty, Gao took the path of many reformers and pursued the "modern" and the "Western" in Japan. He studied at the Tokyo Academy of Fine Arts and traveled to India. When he returned to China in 1916, he inculcated students with his ideas of a "new national painting" using Western modeling techniques and departing from the traditional idealized subjects of Chinese painting.

This strikingly modern painting embodies an important feature of the Lingnan School in the surprising choice of subject matter.

Snake Catching A Frog, Gao Jianfu (Chinese, 1878–1951), Hanging scroll; ink and color on alum paper, China

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